Safety Net Hospitals

Readmission penalties against hospitals providing care to socioeconomically disadvantaged patients have dropped 14% points under new rules adopt in 2019 that more equitably account for low-income populations being served, according to a new analysis led by UT Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard researchers.
Hospitals serving low-income populations have traditionally been disproportionately penalize; so for hospital readmissions under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program design to reduce health system costs; hence explain Dr. Ambarish Pandey, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author. The new rules adopt in 2019 instead compare similar hospitals, such as groups of large safety net hospitals.

Impact among the hospitals

The stratified payment method had the most significant impact among the hospitals; so serving socioeconomically disadvantage populations, reducing penalties by 14% points. Across all hospitals, the savings were about 4% points,” said Dr. Pandey, a Texas Health Resources Clinical Scholar. The more equitable distribution of penalties among these hospitals; sp lessens the burden carry by hospitals caring for patients of low socioeconomic status.

The investigation of more than 3,000 hospitals is one of the first to examine; so the effectiveness of the new rules to help level the playing field by comparing penalties; hence for all hospitals to the reclassify hospitals that serve low socioeconomic status populations for four target medical conditions: Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), Heart failure, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Pneumonia.

The results also show the greatest reductions in readmissions come in heart relate conditions,” said Dr. Pandey, a cardiologist whose clinical expertise focuses on prevention of cardiovascular disease. Researchers found the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program; Reduce penalties from 79% to 75% across all hospitals (a 4% point reduction). Reduce penalties from 91% to 77% across safety net hospitals (a 14% point reduction).

The physician owned hospitals

Had the greatest impact on nonteaching, physician owned hospitals in rural regions. The research appears in JAMA Open Network. This research was perform in collaboration with investigators from different U.S. institutions including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Northwestern University, and UCLA Health.

Our study findings highlight the benefits of an effective policy modification; hence by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said Dr. Cian P. McCarthy; so lead author from Massachusetts General Hospital. Dual-eligible patients, those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, represent a complex.

High-risk cohort that account for a third of spending in both programs,” said Dr. Muthiah Vaduganathan, co-first author from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The new stratify peer group base assessment of hospital performance is a welcome initial step and addresses variation in care provide to dual eligible patients across hospital systems in the U.S.