Posts Tagged - ‘hospital stays’

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Healthcare Reform Penalizes Hospitals With High Readmission Rates

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Image: fw190a8 under CC 3.0

When a person goes into the hospital, they hope to get out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, early discharge isn’t best if they later end up being readmitted.

Currently, the fee-for-service compensation system has health insurance plans paying a lump sum to hospitals for each treatment–making it more profitable to move patients out quicker. Sometimes, those patients aren’t provided with appropriate support to prevent their return to the hospital. Readmission is more costly for patients, in both health and financial terms.

Healthcare reform looks to change that, starting in 2012. In that year, hospitals with high rates of readmission will be financially penalized. It is a tactic to encourage appropriate-length hospital stays (as opposed to the highest possible turnover), as well as quality care after discharge. The exact details of that provision are as of yet unknown.

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