CMS penalizes hospitals for high rates of hospital-acquired conditions

December 19, 2014

Hospitals with high rates of certain hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) will have their Medicare payments cut by 1% for the 2015 fiscal year.

Hospitals that had high rates of certain hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) will have their Medicare payments cut by 1% for the 2015 fiscal year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released fiscal year 2015 information for all eligible hospitals in the HAC Reduction Program. The data include a score for each hospital’s rate of hospital-acquired conditions that is based on three components:

Central-line associated bloodstream infections, or CLABSIs;

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, or CAUTIs;

A composite score of eight types of injuries including blood clots, bed sores and falls.

CMS posts results on its public, searchable Hospital Compare website. The program and subsequent website was created as part of the Affordable Care Act to encourage hospitals to improve patient safety.

Hospitals receive a score from 1 to ten based on patient safety and healthcare-associated infections.  Those with scores in the top quartile will receive a reduction in payment of 1% beginning in FY 2015. The total number of hospitals receiving a reduction in FY 2015 is 721, according to Kaiser Health News.

In October, CMS fined announced it was levying $428 million in fines against 2,610 hospitals for excessive readmission rates, with 39 receiving the largest penalty permitted.

READ: Medicare fines record number of hospitals under the ACA’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program