Legislation Introduced To Ease Hospital Readmission Penalties

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to make Medicare take the financial status of hospitals into account when deciding whether to punish the facility for too many readmissions. The goal of the bill is to address one of the main complaints about the readmissions program-that hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income patients are more likely to be penalized. During the past two years, the government has reduced payments to two-thirds of the nation’s hospitals due to high levels of readmissions. Although Medicare does adjust for different levels of sickness of patients among hospitals, the ACA does not give regulators the leeway to take socio-economic status into account.

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