Leaders brace for October readmission penalties

August 20, 2012 | By Alicia Caramenico from Fierce Healthcare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will recoup about $280 million in payments from more than 2,200 hospitals beginning in October–a number that has the attention of hospital executives, Kaiser Health News reports.

“I’m not sure penalties alone are going to move the needle, but they have raised awareness and moved many hospitals to action,” Eric Coleman, M.D., a national expert on readmissions at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, told KHN in a previous article.

For instance, a 0.66 percent penalty has prompted Delaware’s St. Francis Hospital to explore ways to improve handoffs and discharge to home care and skilled nursing facilities, KHN noted. “[H]aving these penalties over our head does kind of make a difference,” St. Francis Vice President for patient-care services and Chief Nursing Officer Coy Smith told WHYY.

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