What We're Reading: Medicare Cracks Down on Antibiotic-Resistant Infections in Hospitals

What we're reading, December 26, 2016: Medicare starts looking into drug-resistant infections in hospitals; Republicans may not repeal all of Obamacare's taxes when they repeal the law; and a program that partners drug addicts with police officers to get help.

Including antibiotic-resistant infections to the count of patient injuries led to 769 hospitals having payment cuts. According to NPR, the government examined the prevalence of 2 types of drug-resistant bacteria when penalizing hospitals for potentially avoidable complications. Hospitals being penalized will lose 1% of all Medicare payments for 1 year. It is estimated that hospitals will lose 18% more than last year. In addition, 40% of the hospitals being penalized this year were not penalized in the first 2 years of the program.

Republicans are looking to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but may not repeal some of the taxes immediately. While some taxes will be part of the tax reform bill, some could remain to provide revenue for a replacement healthcare plan, reported The Hill. The ACA’s taxes on groups and individuals have been used to fund the healthcare law’s expansion of coverage, and there will need to be a source of revenue for any replacement Republicans look to implement.

In Massachusetts, a program was able to place nearly 400 drug addicts into treatment when they sought it. Through the program, the addicts reached out to the local police department for assistance and received the help they needed nearly 95% of the time, according to The New York Times. Officers reach out to treatment centers, arrange transportation to facilities, and pair addicts with a volunteer for support. The program has been replicated by more than 150 departments in 28 states since it was implemented in June 2015.