Ivy League Professors: Obamacare Penalty Will Hurt Hospitals, Patients

Image: Ivy League Professors: Obamacare Penalty Will Hurt Hospitals, Patients

Monday, 06 May 2013 12:53 PM

By Dan Weil

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A penalty in the Affordable Care Act on hospitals regarding Medicare patients will work against hospitals and patients alike, say Harvard Medical School professor Stephen Soumerai and University of Pennsylvania sociologist Ross Koppel.

Under Obamacare, hospitals that re-admit "excessive" numbers of Medicare patients within 30 days of discharge confront significant penalties. The maximum penalty is 1 percent of a hospital's Medicare reimbursement, increasing to 3 percent in 2015.

"That may not sound like a lot, but for hospitals already struggling financially — especially those serving the poor — losing 1-3 percent of their Medicare reimbursements could put them out of business," the professors write in The Wall Street Journal.

"Giving hospitals an incentive to improve the quality of care and reduce the re-hospitalization of patients, thereby lowering Medicare costs, is a worthy goal. But the current approach flies in the face of the best medical science and jeopardizes the health of patients and the bottom line of hospitals."

There are three important points to keep in mind on the issue, Soumerai and Koppel say.

First, "research shows that most readmissions can't be prevented," they write. "Readmissions are often unavoidable consequence of life-threatening complications that can appear after discharge from the hospital."

Second, the penalties will harm patients. That's because hospitals will try to push them to emergency rooms, because that doesn't count as an admission. "But substituting ER services for hospital stays will only increase the chance that patients will deteriorate and return with more complications," the professors say.

Finally, "the policy discriminates against poorer hospitals," they write. "Small and financially struggling hospitals lack the resources to effectively manage their discharged patients at home."


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

$61.6M in FEMA Money May Come Back to Haunt Ohio's Gov. Kasich

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 07:30 AM

Conservative critics of Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich have latched onto a report from the Department of Homeland Secu . . .

Obama's Amnesty Push Further Fractures America

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 06:33 AM

President Barack Obama‚Äôs decision to ignore the law by granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants broug . . .

GOP Hopefuls Struggling with Specifics on Stopping Amnesty Plan

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 06:26 AM

The rhetoric is barbed, but Republican presidential hopefuls generally fell in line behind the voices of restraint in th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved