Even with an eased formula due to COVID, all but one acute care Connecticut hospital will be penalized by Medicare next year for higher-than-expected readmission rates. Next year, Connecticut hospitals will be docked by 0.456% on their Medicare payments, higher than the US average of 0.428%. Average Connecticut hospital readmission penalties have been higher than the US average since 2019.
Only Griffin Hospital escaped a Medicare readmission penalty for next year. Backus will experience the highest penalty for next year. For this year, all Connecticut hospitals were penalized.
Since 2012, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has penalized hospitals with a higher than expected rate of discharged Medicare patients who are readmitted within 30 days over the last three years. Medicare payments to hospitals in the next year are reduced proportionately to their readmission rates. Created under the Affordable Care Act, the program is an important quality improvement metric designed to ensure that hospitals work to ensure patients continue recovering after they leave. Recognizing the impact of COVID on hospitals, CMS excluded the first half of 2020 from the latest calculations.