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D4PC Opinion: Obama healthcare machine set to legislate "better outcomes" by imposing financial penalties on hospitals who they determine are having too many hospital readmissions over a specific time period. Of course, government bureaucrats and number crunchers fail to recognize factors beyond hospital/physician control such as patient non-compliance with medications, diet, follow up and other disease modifying behavior.
"A provision of ObamaCare is set to punish roughly two-thirds of U.S. hospitals evaluated by Medicare starting this fall over high readmission rates, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News".
"Starting in October, Medicare will reduce reimbursements to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates -- which refers to patients who return within a month -- by as much as 1 percent. The maximum penalty increases to 2 percent the following year and 3 percent in 2014".
"Among patients with heart failure, hospitals that have higher readmission rates actually have lower mortality rates," said Sunil Kripalani, MD, a professor with Vanderbilt University Medical Center who studies hospital readmissions. "So, which would we rather have -- a hospital readmission or a death?"