Noteworthy News

Hospitals Work to Turn Down the Volume

Hospitals across the country are implementing new measures to make their facilities quieter in response to one of their patients’ biggest complaints:  too much noise.

They also are doing so in response to the Affordable Care Act-mandated Medicare value-based purchasing program under which hospitals can suffer financial penalties when patients complain about noise.

The National Association of Urban Hospitals has conveyed to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) its objection to the importance the value-based purchasing program places on noise in hospitals.  In a June 2012 letter, NAUH wrote that

We think it is inappropriate…to compare the degree of quietness of a seventy-five-year-old hospital with semi-private rooms located in a congested urban area with that of a new facility with private rooms located on a sylvan, multi-acre campus set well off any major thoroughfares.

NAUH believes this is one of many ways in which the Medicare value-based purchasing program is biased against urban safety-net hospitals.  Read more about that bias in this 2012 NAUH letter to CMS about proposed changes in Medicare inpatient payment policies.

Read about the lengths to which some hospitals are going to keep their buildings library-quiet in this Wall Street Journal articleiStock_000001497717XSmall.

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