CMS Releases Penalty Data for Second Year of Program to Reduce Readmissions

August 7, 2013 | Risk Management News

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will levy $227 million in penalties against U.S. hospitals during the second year of the agency’s campaign to reduce the number of unplanned hospital readmissions, states an August 2, 2013, Kaiser Health News article. According to the article, CMS has identified 2,225 hospitals that will have their reimbursement reduced for a year starting on October 1, 2013, for failing to meet its quality benchmarks. Eighteen of those hospitals will lose 2%, which is the maximum possible and double the current maximum penalty. Another 154 hospitals will lose 1%. The penalty program, which began in October 2012, is among the toughest of Medicare's efforts to pay hospitals for the quality of care provided rather than merely the number of patients they treat. The penalties are based on readmissions of Medicare patients who originally went into the hospital with at least one of three conditions: heart attack, heart failure, or pneumonia.

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