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Medicare hospital readmission penalties hit record high

Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio

Federal records show that 2,597 hospitals across the nation, or more than 50 percent of all hospitals, will be required to pay a total of $528 million in readmission penalties this year, almost $108 million more than last year (Source: “Medicare’s Readmission Penalties Hit New High,” Kaiser Health News, Aug. 2, 2016).

The average penalty this year went up to 0.73 percent per Medicare payment, compared with 0.61 percent in 2015, which led to the increase in total penalties despite nearly the same number of fined hospitals, according to an analysis from Kaiser Health News.

The new penalties, which take effect in October, are based on the rehospitalization rate for patients with six common conditions. Since the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program began in October 2012, national readmission rates have dropped as many hospitals pay more attention to how patients fare after their release.



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