Medicare is cutting payments to 758 hospitals, including nearly half of the nation’s academic medical centers, in an attempt to promote patient safety.
Since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2008, Medicare has refused to reimburse hospitals for treating complications they created such as infections and blood clots following a surgery.
Academic medical centers argue they are being penalized for being more aggressive in screening patients for problems. That vigilance is a point of pride for many hospitals including Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“If you don’t look for infections, you’re never going to find them,” Dr. Gary Noskin, Northwestern’s chief medical officer told the New York Times.
Infections and other avoidable hospital complications occur during 12 out of every 100 stays, according to a federal estimate.
The penalties, which reduce payments by 1 percent for a year, are estimated to average $480,000 per hospital, according to the New York Times. However, academic medical centers stand to lose more due to higher revenues overall.
Keep reading at NYTimes.com.
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