KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

CMS Revises Readmissions Penalties; How Hospital Networks Play Into Equation

Kaiser Health News examines readmissions at hospitals, including how CMS has revised up penalities on hospitals who readmit patients too soon and how hospital networks play into the readmissions equation.

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Revises Hospitals' Readmissions Penalties
Medicare's new readmission penalties for hospitals just got a bit tougher. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has discovered errors in its initial calculations in August. As a result, 1,422 hospitals with comparatively high readmission rates will lose slightly more money than they were expecting, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the revised penalties. Fifty-five hospitals will lose less than were previously told (Rau, 10/2).

Kaiser Health News: Hospitals Need Networks To Prevent Readmissions
A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly. Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because their conditions get worse when they go home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit, because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care (Whitney, 10/2).

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