Health Law Penalties May Be Skewing Hospital Readmission Rates For Medicare Patients
The Wall Street Journal analyzes Medicare billing data for information on a drop in return visits. And The Washington Post reports on how the impact of rewards for hospitals are impacting patient safety.
The Wall Street Journal:
Medicare Rules Reshape Hospital Admissions
At Banner Health’s general hospitals, the rate of heart-failure patients who wind up admitted to the hospital again soon after leaving has been dropping significantly, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Medicare billing data. So has the readmission rate for patients treated for pneumonia and three other serious conditions. ... But this seemingly good news isn’t as encouraging as it appears. At Banner, based in Phoenix, and at hospitals around the country, more patients are entering or re-entering hospitals under something called “observation status”—a category that keeps them out of the readmission tallies. (Weaver, Wilde Mathews and McGinty, 12/1)
The Washington Post:
HHS Says Patient Safety Efforts Have Saved 87,000 Lives, $20 Billion
Patient safety measures that reward hospitals for reducing preventable infections, pressure ulcers and adverse drug reactions have resulted in a 17 percent decline in these types of patient harms between 2010 and 2014, according to a federal report released Tuesday. The measures were put in place by the Affordable Care Act. Preliminary estimates by the Department of Health and Human Services show 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in these harms, known as hospital-acquired conditions, during that four-year period. (Sun, 12/1)