Fort Wayne Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer and Attorney Blog

Hospitals hit with fines over patient readmissions

By Jack H. FarnbauchMarch 23, 2019

Dozens of hospitals in Indiana will see their Medicare reimbursements reduced in 2019 due to their readmission rates, the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) reports.

A hospital’s readmission rate – like the number of medical malpractice claims filed against its doctors – can reveal much about the quality of care that the hospital provides to its patients. If a hospital has a high number of readmissions, it may indicate that its patients are not getting the initial care and treatment they need, or that the hospital is falling short when it comes to providing follow-up care.

That is why the federal government, as part of the Affordable Care Act, now reduces Medicare reimbursements to hospitals based on the rate of patients who are readmitted within 30 days after their discharge, IBJ explains.

In the 2019 fiscal year, which began October 1, 2019, a total of 66 hospitals in Indiana will face penalties due to their readmission rates, or 80 percent of the state’s medical facilities. The total amount of the penalties will top $12.5 million. The federal government bases the Medicare penalties on readmissions for 2019 by looking at what occurred between July 2014 and July 2017. 

More than half of the hospitals in the country will be penalized as part of the program, or a total of 2,599 facilities, according to IBJ. Indiana ranked No. 29 in the country for the percentage of hospitals penalized. 

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