Medicare is making good on its promise to withhold payments under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. The latest figures show 800 hospitals are not getting their expected reimbursement because of patient safety failures.

Since the program began, Medicare has penalized 1,756 hospitals at least once. In 2019, 110 hospitals are being denied payments for the fifth straight year.

Hospitals are compared against one another for rates of six HACs: central line-associated bloodstream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, surgical site infection from abdominal hysterectomy or colon surgery, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridioides difficile infection. Medicare withholds some payment from the 25% with the worst rates each year.

Improvement from the previous year does not help if the hospital still remains in the worst quartile.

Each hospital in that category will have 1% of its potential Medicare payments deducted for patients discharged between October 2018 and September 2019. The latest data on the HACRP is available online at: https://bit.ly/1QhKT0Z.