KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Health Law Will Penalize Hospitals For Poor Quality

CNNMoney: "The new health law puts the nation's hospitals on strict notice. Either they improve the safety and quality of care for patients or the government will hit them where it hurts the most -- their revenue. The legislation contains dozens of provisions, including fining hospitals, to reduce medical errors, hospital-borne infections and costly preventable readmissions, [which] ... cost the health care system about $25 billion every year, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. To tackle the problem, beginning in 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will publish each hospital's readmission track record [and] ... Medicare will stop paying hospitals for preventable readmissions tied to health conditions such as heart failure or pneumonia. In 2014, HHS will expand that policy to cover four additional health conditions" (Kavilanz, 4/29).
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