Jordan Rau’s stories have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, and on npr.org and nbcnews.com, among other media outlets. He came to KHN when it was started in 2009 from the Los Angeles Times, where he covered California government and health care politics in Sacramento. He previously reported for Newsday in New York, the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and two newspapers in Vermont. | Contact: JordanR@kff.org | @JordanRau
Even though the 2010 health law stymies their growth, these hospitals are gaining under Medicare’s quality payments programs.
These critical access hospitals, which are often in rural areas, get paid more generously by Medicare and are exempt from some federal reporting standards. But those exemptions may be hiding quality issues at the facilities.
The report suggests that cutting payments in areas that pay more per beneficiary, such as Manhattan and Florida, could hit hospitals and doctors who are not providing expensive care.
This list includes various sources for hospital ratings.
With an expanding number of groups offering a stamp of approval, consumers find a confusing array of quality awards to consider when choosing a hospital.
The research bolsters Medicare's efforts to prompt hospitals to reduce the number of patients who return quickly even though some experts assert that might be a sign of good care.
Some advocates are concerned that the Medicare Advantage plans have incentives to skim off the lowest-maintenance customers and leave the expensive patients to the traditional program.
A new analysis concludes that things like the prevalence of smoking, obesity and diabetes best explain why Medicare spending in some regions of the country is higher, instead of how medicine is practiced, as other researchers believe.
Hospitals complain they are bearing the brunt of sustaining payment levels for doctors but the changes in Medicare were a long time coming.
Under a program set up by the health law, payments to 1,557 hospitals will be increased, while 1,427 will drop.