WASHINGTON (September 30, 2012)—Starting Monday Medicare is changing the way it does business with hospitals and the result could be that fewer patients will go back into the hospital after they’re discharged.
As of Monday, Medicare will start imposing financial penalties on hospitals that have too many patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge because of complications.
The government estimates that about two-thirds of hospitals serving Medicare patients, totaling about 2,200 facilities nationwide, will be hit with penalties averaging around $125,000 per facility this coming year.
Medicare plans to post details online later in October.
Consumers will be able to look up how their community hospitals performed.
Hospitals have scrambled to prepare for well more than a year.
They're working on ways to improve communication with rehabilitation centers and doctors in their communities.