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Beginning Oct. 1, 2012, more than 2,000 hospitals serving Medicare patients began losing reimbursement under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) readmission reduction program, which penalizes hospitals experiencing excess 30-day readmissions for heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia. The average penalty is about $125,000.

Readmission reduction has begun and the penalties will escalate