Ill. Fines Hospitals For Preventable Hospital Readmissions
Also, a federal lawsuit in California alleges nursing homes overmedicated their residents and seeks repayment.
Chicago Sun Times: Illinois Fines 82 Hospitals For Unwarranted Readmissions
Illinois will be collecting $16.3 million in penalties from 82 hospitals that had too many Medicaid patients readmitted to their hospital, the state said Friday. Having people return to the hospital for preventable readmissions can be a sign of deficiencies in the process of care and treatment or the lack of post discharge follow-up. For that reason, the state developed a policy for reducing these readmissions in 2013. The federal government also penalizes hospitals for Medicare patients that have preventable readmissions (Thomas, 9/5).
NPR: Feds Hope Hitting Nursing Homes In The Wallet Will Cut Overmedication
A federal lawsuit against two Watsonville, Calif., nursing homes may offer a new approach to dealing with the persistent problem of such facilities overmedicating their residents. The lawsuit details multiple cases when the government says these drugs were inappropriately administered to patients (Jaffe, 9/5).
In other news -
The Wall Street Journal: A Fast-Growing Medical Lab Tests Anti-Kickback Law
A fast-growing Virginia laboratory has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare while using a strategy that is now under regulatory scrutiny: It paid doctors who sent it patients' blood for testing. Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. transformed itself from a startup incorporated in late 2008 into a major lab with $383 million in 2013 revenues, 41 percent of that from Medicare. It built that business selling tests to measure "biomarkers" that help doctors predict heart disease. HDL bundles together up to 28 tests it performs on a vial of blood, receiving Medicare payments of $1,000 or more for some bundles (Carreyrou and McGinty, 9/7).