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Medicare to Penalize More than 2,000 Hospitals for High Readmission Rates

Posted Aug 14, 2012 12:55 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Beginning in October, more than 2,000 hospitals across the country will be required to forfeit $280 million in Medicare funds because too many patients were readmitted after discharge.

The penalties are part of a government push to pay health care providers based on quality of care, Kaiser Health News reports.

Kaiser Health News notes that one in five Medicare patients are returning to hospitals within a month of discharge, an indication to the government that care is uncoordinated.

Authorized by the 2010 health care law, hospitals will also begin to be penalized or rewarded based on standards of care and how patients rate them.

Hospitals expected to face the heaviest penalties, according to Kaiser Health's review of records, are those in New Jersey, New York, the District of Columbia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Illinois and Massachusetts.

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