Hospitals in D.C., Va. to lose millions from Medicare
Change via The Washington Post. I suspect there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. Plus, it sounds like it’s going to hurt the very people Obama says he wants to help the worst.
Some of the hardest-hit facilities are inner-city hospitals that tend to treat sicker, poorer patients. These patients sometimes end up being readmitted because they have a harder time getting medication and follow-up doctors’ appointments, often because they lack transportation, hospital officials said.
Hospitals in the District and Northern Virginia will lose millions of dollars in Medicare funding over the next year because too many of their patients were readmitted to a hospital within weeks of being released, according to Medicare data and interviews with hospital officials.
Beginning Monday, the hospitals will receive lower reimbursements on Medicare claims filed with the government for each admitted patient.
Over the year, the total amount of those reductions will vary from $1.2 million for MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Northwest Washington, the region’s largest private hospital, to about $12,000 for Reston Hospital Center in Virginia. Of 16 hospitals in the District and Northern Virginia, all but three will get paid less.
The penalties do not apply to Maryland hospitals because the state has a unique payment arrangement with Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly and disabled.