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'Readmissions Week' Recap

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 14, 2013

It was probably just coincidence that this week was chock full of news about dreaded 30-day hospital readmissions. 

But then, maybe not when you consider that the three-year performance period which determines which hospitals will see Medicare payment cuts of up to 3% starting in Oct. 1, 2014, ends on June 30. That will be a shock to hospitals grappling with 1% cuts in their Medicare payments this year.

The clock is ticking.

And in just another few weeks, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rule makers will roll out proposed readmissions policies for FY 2014 and FY 2015, or at least signal their intent.

No one thinks they will be more lenient.

According to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the number of conditions measured now congestive heart failure, pneumonia and heart attack—must be expanded to include vascular surgery, stenting, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery bypass surgery, "and to other conditions and procedures as determined appropriate by the Secretary." 

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