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With times changing across the healthcare field, Medicare is implementing new payout programs based off of hospitals being able to pass quality standards evaluations and restructuring finances in order to better incentivize hosptial services for employees

As Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are still struggling to get their feet off the ground, hospitals are being scrutinized based-off of their quality and the services being provided. Unfortunately, more and more hospitals are being penalized underneath the new set of standards due to increased attention from Medicare and other government agencies.

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The payment rates for Medicare has risen yet again, now totaling 1,231 hospitals based on 24 quality measurements which monitor the hospitals services and progress within the industry. These include surveys from patient satisfaction to death rates. There is an additional group of 1,451 hospitals that are being paid less for the Medicare patients they retain since October 1st of this year.

Some are expecting greater hits than others, but almost half of the hospitals are claiming that the changes are negligible, they are gaining or losing less than a fraction of a percent of what Medicare otherwise pays for.

Jordan Rau explains the hospital scrutiny, “Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico, a federal government hospital on the border of the Navajo Reservation, will be paid 1.14 percent less for each patient. Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock, a physician-owned hospital that only handles cardiovascular cases, will get the largest bonus, 0.88 percent”.

Operating within the program entitled Hospital Value-Based Purchasing, Medicare is forced to reduce payment rates to all hospitals by 1.25 percent. The money will then be set aside, approximately $1.1 billion in total, to be put towards offering future incentives.

“Implementing bonuses and penalties create financial incentives for doctors and hospitals to provide better care”, says Dr. Patrick Conway, Medicare’s chief medical officer.

According the Kaiser Health news analysis, hospitals in Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin are doing the best with over 60 percent of all hospitals getting higher payments. Medicare is reducing the amount of paybacks at two-thirds of hospitals in 17 states including but not limited to: California, Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

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