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Medicare Readmission Penalties Hit All-time High

2,597 Hospitals Forfeit $528 Millions

Beginning Oct. 1, hospitals and other Medicare patient providers will lose a collective $528 million in readmissions and quality of care penalties.

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Fiscal year 2017 will see about the same number of hospitals penalized – 2,597 – as last year, but the average maximum penalty will increase to its lifetime high of 3%. In all, more than half of the nation’s hospitals will be penalized on high 30-day readmission rates and quality measures such as heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure, COPD, total knee replacement surgery, and total hip replacement. A new measure of coronary artery bypass graft surgery has been added for FY 2017.

About 1,400 hospitals are exempt from penalties, including hospitals in Maryland, critical access hospitals, children’s hospitals, Veterans Administration hospitals, and psychiatric facilities.