HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Readmission Rates and HACs

Section 3025 of the Affordable Care Act, here, reduces Medicare payments by 1% in 2013, 2 % in 2014 and 3% thereafter for hospitals with exclusive readmissions. However, a report from the RWJ-funded Dartmouth Atlas Project, here examined 10.7 million Medicare discharges from almost 2000 hospitals from 2004-09. Their findings are disturbing; significant variations across hospitals and regions and, overall, no real progress nationwide in reducing the readmission rate. Indeed, almost half of the surveyed academic medical centers showed an increase in readmission rates. Will the imminence of CMS sanctions focus hospital attention on a potentially serious loss of revenue? And how will such readmission numbers caused by Hospital Acquired Conditions impact hospital revenues denied under state Medicaid programs as provided for by section 2702 of the Affordable Care Act and its resultant NPRM, here? [NPT]

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