Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:14 am
A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly.
Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because they got worse after getting home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care.
The federal government says, in fact, that Medicare alone pays $17.4 billion a year for unnecessary return visits.
Starting today, America's hospitals will find that their checks from Medicare are a little bit lighter.
As part of the government's biggest effort yet at paying for performance, Medicare is withholding 1 percent of its regular hospital payments and putting that money into a fund to reward hospitals that score well on 20 different quality measures.
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:19 am
It is a truth universally acknowledged that health insurance companies can be a pain for patients. What may be a surprise is that hospitals often complain, too. And the reasons aren't so different from those of consumers: Denied claims. Low reimbursement. Late reimbursement. Thickets of red tape.