Jason Vertucio

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Hospitals to be penalized for excessive readmissions

(Image courtesy of travels16)

More than 2,000 hospitals — including some nationally recognized ones — will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show.

The penalties, authorized by the 2010 health care law, are part of a multipronged effort by Medicare . . . .

(article via Medcity News)

I read this and can’t help but think that, even though hospitals are going to be losing some of their funding it ultimately will “force improvements in hospital quality.”

One of the many criticisms I hear about the health care law that was passed and subsequently fought over was that it’ll raise everyone’s taxes. I never bought that line. Funding was to come from health insurance companies that offer excess health insurance; individuals who earn over $200,000 a year; tanners (sources easier to read than the actual bill).

And here’s something else. Going to the hospital is going to cost less for Medicare recipients, too, because they will finally receive the quality care they should receive, instead of being spit out of the hospital before they’re fully recovered only to return within 30 days!

I don’t know how y’all feel about this stuff. I know there will be a lot of people who disagree with me. They’ll say that hospitals, especially ones that are already struggling, may be forced to shut down.

My local hospital has been a non-profit since its inception in the 1950’s. They have freaking bake sales. If a hospital is on the verge of shutting down and something like this would push it to shut down, then (a) they are rife with other problems and should work to fix those problems as well, or (b) they should have freaking bake sales and stay open.

(A quick note to all who recognise the once thriving Henryton Mental Hospital in Maryland. I just have a thing for abandoned mental institutions lately, and it has nothing to do with this article.)