Medicare Rolls Out Quality Bonuses And Penalties

Under a new program created by the health law, hospitals can get larger payments -- or payment cuts -- based on the quality of care they provide.

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Discloses Hospitals' Bonuses, Penalties Based On Quality
Medicare on Thursday disclosed bonuses and penalties for nearly 3,000 hospitals as it ties almost $1 billion in payments to the quality of care provided to patients. The revised payments, which will begin in January, mark the federal government’s most extensive effort yet to hold hospitals financially accountable for what happens to patients. In what amounts to a nationwide competition, Medicare compared hospitals on how faithfully they followed rudimentary standards of care and how patients rated their experiences (Rau, 12/20).

Also read a sidebar on the methodology behind the analysis. KHN has an interactive chart showing the effect of the program on individual hospitals and a state-by-state comparison.

Meanwhile, New York cracks down on sepsis in hospitals --

The New York Times: One Boy's Death Moves State To Action To Prevent Others
Prompted by the death of a 12-year-old Queens boy in April, New York health officials are poised to make their state the first in the nation to require that hospitals aggressively look for sepsis in patients so treatment can begin sooner. Under the regulations, which are now being drafted, the hospitals will also have to publicly report the results of their efforts (Dwyer, 12/20).

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