Trying To Lower Readmissions? Give Your Patients A Health App

Matt Mattox | Axial Exchange | November 2, 2012

On October 1 2012, the CMS Readmission Reduction Program kicked in - much to the consternation of 2,217 hospitals that will be penalized. This followed 18 months of hand wringing that began when the program was introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010.

The $280 Million Stick

The final rule, which was issued on August 1, 2012, lays out how the penalty is calculated. The basic idea is that the penalty will range from .01 to 1% of FY13 Medicare revenue. The exact percentage will be determined by how a hospital's 30-day readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia perform against expected readmission rates. Total penalties are expected to equal roughly $280 million. The bad news? The stick will become more painful. The maximum penalty will increase from 1% in FY13 to 2% in FY14 and 3% in FY15...