First Hospital Penalties For High Readmissions Detailed
KHN examines new penalties hospitals face under the health law. Meanwhile, Medpage Today reports on the American College of Physicians' new recommendations on government rules about doctors' interactions with patients.
Kaiser Health News: Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions
More than 2,000 hospitals -- including some nationally recognized ones -- will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show (Rau, 8/13). Also, look at charts detailing the penalties by region or by state.
Kaiser Health News: Hospitals Treating The Poor Hardest Hit By Readmissions Penalties
Medicare's new crackdown on readmissions will hit hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients especially hard, a Kaiser Health News analysis shows. The debate over whether readmissions penalties would fall most heavily on safety-net hospitals has been a flash point since penalties were included in the 2010 health law (Rau, 8/13).
Minnesota Public Radio: Some Minn. Hospitals Penalized For Readmission Rate
At least two dozen Minnesota hospitals will have to forfeit a small fraction of their Medicare funding because patients had to be readmitted soon after discharge. The federal health care law considers readmissions a sign that a hospital could do a better job at coordinating and following up on patient care and reducing costs as a result. No Minnesota hospital faces the highest penalty of 1 percent of their Medicare funds. Mayo Clinic's Health System in Fairmont was the highest at 0.81 percent. Sanford Medical Center in Worthington and Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville both face penalties of 0.43 percent (Stawicki, 8/10).
Meanwhile, Medpage Today reports on the doctor-patient relationship --
Medpage Today: ACP Tackles Government Intrusion In Doctor-Patient Relationship
In light of recently passed laws, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has released a statement of principles regarding the role of government in regulating the doctor-patient relationship. The statement offers seven recommendations, including the notion that physicians shouldn't be barred from discussing risk factors with their patients, and that laws shouldn't mandate the content of what physicians can say to patients. … Several states have proposed or enacted laws that prohibit doctors from asking their patients about risk factors, require them to provide tests that aren't supported by evidence, or limit the information they're allowed to disclose to patients. Specifically, proposed legislation in Alaska would allow patients and families to override a physician's do-not-resuscitate order, and women seeking an abortion in Arizona must have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the procedure (Fiore, 8/10).
And in other quality news --
CQ HealthBeat: Quality Forum Recommends Measurements On Cancer, Care Coordination And Disparities
The National Quality Forum endorsed several quality measures Friday on cancer treatment, care coordination and health care disparities. The standards on disparities are the first comprehensive set of measures targeting the problem of health disparities among different populations. The forum is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Medicare officials consider NQF-endorsed measures when setting federal policies. Individuals or groups that disagree with any of the standards can request reconsideration of them by submitting an appeal no later than Sept. 10 (Adams, 8/10).