In looking through the data, I noticed it's not necessarily just medium or smaller rural or community hospitals that are getting whacked with bad scores.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, with 631 beds in Boston, shows up as "worse" in its readmission rates in all three categories. So does Barnes Jewish Hospital, a 1,259-bed facility in St. Louis, MO and Brookhaven Memorial, a 306-bed hospital in Patchogue, NY.
Others on the list include Florida Hospital in Orlando, Franciscan St. James Health of Olympia Fields, IL, Our Lady of the Resurrection in Chicago, and San Juan VA Medical Center in Puerto Rico.
Also surprising is the number of well-known names in the list of 54 hospitals that were "worse" in two out of the three categories. They include Northwestern Memorial in Chicago, University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, the Cleveland Clinic, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
The penalties start at 1% for Medicare DRG discharges on or after Oct. 1, 2012, increase to 2% on or after Oct. 1, 2013 and to 3% on or after Oct. 1, 2014.
Which hospitals have the best, or lowest readmission scores, the ones that appear now to be least likely to get a payment cut? Pennsylvania-based Lancaster General Hospital and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hamot and Muncie, IN-based Ball Memorial Hospital all fell into the “better" range in all three disease categories. About 21 other hospitals scored "better" in two disease categories.
Now, with press reports shedding light on this obvious quality problem, hospitals are starting to react in an effort to thwart negative publicity.