“Hospitals Stopped Readmitting So Many Medicare Patients. Did That Cost Lives?” – The New York Times

“A new government program was supposed to prevent certain Medicare recipients from cycling in and out of hospitals. Now experts worry some older patients are being denied necessary care.”

readmitsCredit: Craig Frazier

by Paula Spahn

“It was a well-intended policy. Almost all parties agree on that much.

“A decade ago, when Medicare beneficiaries were discharged from hospitals, one in five returned within a month.

“Older people faced the risks of hospitalization all over again: infections, deconditioning, delirium, subsequent nursing home stays. And preventable readmissions were costing Medicare a bundle.

“So the Affordable Care Act incorporated something called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which focused on three serious ailments with high readmission rates: heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia.

“The A.C.A. penalized hospitals — withholding up to three percent of Medicare payments — when readmissions within 30 days exceeded national averages.”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.

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