Medicare penalizes 26 CT hospitals for high readmission rates



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Twenty-six Connecticut hospitals will lose some of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as a penalty for having too many readmitted patients, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Nationally, Medicare is cutting payments to 2,499 hospitals, or about 47% of all facilities, with the average penalty being 0.64%, according to a report by Kaiser Health News.

This year’s sanctions were based on patient tracking from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2019, so the influx of patient care during the coronavirus pandemic is not included, CMS said.


In Connecticut, 72% of all hospitals in the program experience lost CMS payments, from October 2021 to September 2022.

No Connecticut hospital received the maximum penalty of 3 percent. But Rockville General Hospital will lose 2.3%, the highest penalty of any facility in Connecticut, and Bridgeport Hospital will lose 2.15%.

Five hospitals will lose more than one percent of their funds, 19 others less than one percent.

“Connecticut hospitals share a strong commitment to the quality of care they provide and patient safety. Through the Connecticut Hospital Association, hospitals drive quality improvement through a shared commitment to best practices and clinical collaboration and we always strive to do better, ”CHA said in a statement.

“Hospitals have operated under tremendous pressure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to focus on improving quality. We are encouraged that many hospitals have shown improvements and we will continue to focus on the quality of care provided in hospitals across the state, ”CHA said.

Lisa Freeman, Executive Director of the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, said, “This measurement and the results among Connecticut hospitals demonstrate the need for a higher degree of coordinated care after hospitalization. It is a time when a discharged patient is particularly vulnerable to complications from their recent hospitalization and when complete, accurate and understandable care instructions, new supplies, clarity and access to all medications and monitoring of care. are particularly important for their continued recovery.

Freeman said readmission measures have “the potential to slightly mislead patients because the readmission that is counted can be for any reason, not only the reason for the initial hospitalization, it is always about the good. -being or discomfort of the patient on discharge. “

CHA launched Unite Connecticut to improve hospital readmission rates. As part of the program, “hospitals now have direct referral and communication loops, via a shared digital platform, to guide and support patients in need of community social services to help them stabilize their conditions. life and optimize their health. “

This year, the program served more than 3,600 patients through referrals to approximately 280 community organizations. “We expect these robust support channels to help patients achieve better health outcomes by addressing the social drivers of health,” said CHA said. “Over time, removing these social barriers strengthens a patient’s ability to fully follow treatment or make a necessary lifestyle change, thereby reducing the need for readmission and also improving patient health outcomes. There are 11 participating hospitals and ACS said five more are in the process of joining.

In addition to Rockville General and Bridgeport hospitals, hospitals receiving penalties of more than one percent are: Manchester Memorial, 1.8 percent; Middlesex, 1.67%; William Backus, 1.56%; Bristol, 1.34%; and Waterbury, 1.13 percent.

The 19 hospitals losing less than one percent of reimbursement are: Charlotte Hungerford, 0.38 percent; Danbury, 0.31%; Kimball Day, 0.27%; Greenwich, 0.53%; Griffon, 0.02%; Hartford, 0.57%; John Dempsey, 0.78%; Johnson Memorial, 0.67%; and Lawrence + Memorial, 0.08%; Mid-State Medical, 0.45%; Norwalk, 0.74%; 0.62 percent of St. Mary’s; Sharon, 0.02%; Saint Francis, 0.56%; Saint-Vincent, 0.41 percent; Stamford, 0.22%, Central Connecticut Hospital, 0.64%; Windham Memorial, 0.08%; and Yale New Haven, 0.76 percent.

Only two facilities received no sanction: the Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford and Hebrew Home and Hospital Inc. in West Hartford.

Eight Connecticut hospitals are exempt from the program: Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield, Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven, Southwest Connecticut Mental Health in Bridgeport, Silver Hill Hospital Inc. in New Canaan , the Connecticut Hospice Inc. in Branford and the Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center in Middletown.

This is the 10th year for the CMS sanctions, enacted under the Affordable Care Act.

This story was reported in partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (c-hit.org), a non-profit news organization dedicated to health reporting.

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