Medicare Cuts Payments to Local Hospitals with High Rates of Infections and Injuries
Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Dec 29, 2015 in Medical Malpractice
Last year, Medicare announced that it was penalizing 721 hospitals nationwide for having high rates of preventable infections and injuries. The penalty comes in the form of a one percent reduction in payments.
The cuts were intended to curb the rate of hospital acquired conditions (HACs), by pressuring hospitals to improve procedures, facilities and staff training as preventative measures.
They began a second round of penalties recently, after finding many hospitals did not correct the problem.
These penalties are estimated to total about $373 million, and safety officials hope that these efforts will reduce dangers that patients face during hospital stays.
Surprisingly, some of the most renowned hospital facilities in the nation are being punished for HACs. In addition, academic medical centers have been under major scrutiny as about half of these facilities have received some kind of penalty for avoidable errors.
Hospital Acquired Conditions
Medicare determined such penalties for hospitals based on three different factors. These include:
- The rate at which eight different kinds of serious complications happened in a given hospital facility, including surgical cuts, reopened wounds, collapsed lungs and more.
- The frequency that infections occurred from catheter procedures.
- The frequency that blood infections occurred from intravenous procedures.
Medicare's fines for HACs have reduced the frequency of such avoidable mistakes by 17 percent between 2010 and 2013.
Even so, 205 Americans still die each day due to a hospital related infection or illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
South Carolina Hospitals with High Rates of Infection
In South Carolina, thirteen hospitals have been penalized. Some of these healthcare facilities include:
- MUSC Medical Center
- Palmetto Health Richland
- Palmetto Health Baptist
- Spartanburg Regional Medical Center
- Conway Medical Center
- Kershaw Health
- Oconee Medical Center
- TRMC of Orangeburg and Calhoun
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or illness due to hospital negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Harbin & Burnett today. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.