Monday, the Democrat-passed Obama health care reform began a system of fining hospitals if too many of their Medicare patients are re-admitted within 30 days. Illinois hospitals are expected to be among the hardest hit. ConsumerReport.org reports:
About two-thirds of the hospitals serving Medicare patients, or some 2,200 facilities, will be penalized this year, with an average fine of about $125,000, according to government estimates. Hospitals in Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York will be among the hardest hit, according to reports. For now, hospitals are only being measured on three medical conditions: heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.
Medicare plans to post details later this month on individual hospitals on its HospitalCompare.gov website. And over the past year, a number of hospitals have taken steps to reduce readmission rates. But our hospital Ratings show that many hospitals need to improve.
More HERE. Concerns are that while this new fine may be meant to improve seniors' health care while they're in the hospital, it may actually endanger seniors who've been released. Doctors and administrators may be compelled to discourage those seniors who've had re-occurrences from being re-admitted once they've been released.