CT hospital readmission penalties up for next year

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Next year, Medicare will penalize CT hospitals by an average of 0.74% in readmission penalties and all CT hospitals will pay a penalty, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News. Nationally hospital penalties averaged less at 0.57%, and 574 US hospitals will have no penalty. Since 2012 hospitals have been penalized if they have too many discharged patients returning within 30 days. The penalties are an important part of the Affordable Care Act’s initiatives to improve quality of care. Congress passed changes in the penalty methodology to address concerns from safety net hospitals that their patients are more likely to return to the hospital for reasons beyond the hospital’s control which lowered penalties nationally a bit from the year before. However, in aggregate, CT hospitals’ penalties are going up by 0.145% this year, despite the change. Waterbury Hospital received the highest penalty at 2.19% for next year; Norwalk Hospital earned the lowest penalty at 0.02%. Manchester Memorial Hospital had the biggest change from 2018 to 2019 rising by 1.74%. Medicare covers 35% of all payments to CT hospitals.