PMH in Top Third Nationwide for Readmission Rates

10/2/2012

On October 1,  Medicare began penalizing hospitals who have patients who are readmitted too soon after discharge.  This is the beginning of the government’s wide-ranging push to start paying health care providers based on the quality of care they provide.

Kiser Health News reports that “ With nearly one in five Medicare patients returning to the hospital within a month of discharge, the government considers readmissions a prime symptom of an overly expensive and uncoordinated health system.  Hospitals have had little financial incentive to ensure patients get the care they need once they leave, and if fact they benefit financially when patients don’t recover and return for more treatment.  

“In a few months, hospitals also will be penalized or rewarded based on how well they adhere to basic standards of care and how patients rated their experience.  Overall, Medicare has decided to penalize around two-thirds of the hospitals whose readmission rates it evaluated, the records show.

“The government’s penalties are based on the frequency that Medicare heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia patients were readmitted within 30 days between July 2008 and June 2011.  Medicare took into account the sickness of the patients when calculating whether the rates were higher than those of the average hospital, but not their racial or socioeconomic background.”

Nationwide 34.4% of hospitals will receive no readmission penalty.  LifePoint has reviewed its hospitals and found 12 who were “penalty-free” based on the  frequent readmission criteria.  Person Memorial is one of 12 LifePoint hospitals in this category.

Congratulations to all our caregivers and staff who strive to care for patients and provide a healthcare facility where patients choose to come.   Keep up the good work!

 

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