AHA Rejects Proposed Readmission Penalties

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , June 25, 2012

Metrics questioned
The AHA says that the measures that gauge whether a hospital has high rates of readmissions are unreliable "for a majority of hospitals.  This is especially important to consider in light of the penalties that are at stake.  In our analysis of the inpatient PPS impact file, some hospitals may be penalized by almost $3 million in FY 2013. Penalizing hospitals while failing to guarantee that these measures have even a moderate rate of reliability is completely inappropriate."

The AHA also wants CMS to allow hospitals to indicate designate during the discharge process which admissions would include a planned readmission.

The trade organization also wants CMS to remove admissions and readmissions for beneficiaries who died in the hospital, were transferred to another hospital, were discharged against medical advice and those patients who received percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG).

Much of the AHA's argument was devoted to its contention that the proposed federal rule is biased against hospitals that serve the poor and that CMS should install some adjustment mechanism to correct for that disadvantage.

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1 comments on "AHA Rejects Proposed Readmission Penalties"

Tom Johnson (6/25/2012 at 8:30 PM)
Rick Pollack is right on target with his criticisms of this CMS readmission penalty rule. Study after study have pointed out that patients in the lower socio-economic rung tend to have more co-mobidities; they tend to have less access to health care information; they often don't have access to primary care services; they don't have the same level of compliance to accepted health care guidelines for self care, etc. Their re-admission rate is bound to be higher and many of these patients are under Medicaid or are uninsured so hospitals taking care of a disproportionate share of these patients will be unfairly penalized. This CMS rule is a utopian rule not grounded in reality. Tom Johnson, LFACHE




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