Noteworthy News

Improvements Inspired by Readmissions Reduction Program Level Off

After major improvements during the early years of Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, the program is no longer showing significant new gains.

While Medicare readmissions have fallen from 21.5 percent to 17.8 percent since 2007, there has been very little improvement since 2012, suggesting that most of the benefits from the program have already been achieved.

And in FY 2018, Medicare will penalize almost the same number of hospitals it penalized in FY 2017:  approximately 80 percent of the hospitals subject to the program.

In FY 2018, the average penalty will be 0.73 percent of affected hospitals’ Medicare payments.  Forty-eight hospitals will be penalized the maximum of three percent and at least 90 percent of hospitals in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, And Virginia will be penalized.

In FY 2018 Medicare will introduce a risk adjustment element to the readmissions reduction program to reflect the greater challenges safety-net hospitals face when trying to prevent readmissions.  NAUH was one of the staunchest advocates of this change in the program.

Learn more about how Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program is affecting hospitals and hospital readmissions in this Kaiser Health News article.

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