Noteworthy News

More Hospitals Lose Than Win in Latest Medicare Quality Reconciliation

1451 hospitals are being penalized under Medicare’s value-based purchasing system while 1231 hospitals will receive bonuses for their performance under the same program.

These are the results after Medicare tallied hospitals’ scores at the end of the second year of the Affordable Care Act-mandated program.

In many cases, the gains or losses are minimal:  less than one-fifth of one percent for half of all hospitals.  The biggest bonus, 0.88 percent, will go to a heart hospital in Arkansas while the biggest loss, a cut of 1.14 percent, will be suffered by a New Mexico hospital.

Faring best under the program are hospitals in Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin while 60 percent of hospitals in 17 states will see their payments cut.

WheelchairWhile both the cuts and bonuses seem minimal, hospital executives across the country acknowledge paying more attention to the quality measures on which the program is based so they do not lose any Medicare revenue.

The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has long been on record in opposition to the manner in which Medicare’s hospital value-based purchasing program is structured, maintaining that the program fails to reflect the distinct challenges urban safety-net hospitals typically face.

To learn more about the year two results of the Medicare hospital value-based purchasing program, and for a link to a database for individual hospitals, see this Kaiser Health News report.

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