Pay-for-performance in health care is taking hold. More than 750 hospitals are likely to have Medicare payments docked later this year under the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program, the third of PPACA’s major mandatory pay-for-performance programs for hospitals. Two other programs are in their second year: one penalizes hospitals with high readmission rates and another awards bonuses or penalties based on quality measures. The HAC program addresses hospital infections and other patient injuries. According to this interesting article in Kaiser Health News, the government estimates that one out of every eight patients nationally suffered a potentially avoidable complication during a hospital stay in 2012. The program assesses penalties against the worst-performing quarter of the nation’s hospitals each year, even if they have been improving. While patient advocates say financial penalties are long overdue, some provider advocate question whether the metrics are right -- surprisingly, about half of the nation’s large teaching hospitals wound up on the list. But whether the rating system needs refining or not, hospitals are already taking steps to improve. That benefits all patients -- those in employer-sponsored plans as well as those in Medicare.
Go to full article: kaiserhealthnews.org