Capital Regional Medical Center is being docked by the federal government for having high patient readmission rates. As a result of having too many patients coming back to the hospital after they’re discharged, Capital Regional will have to forfeit a percentage of the dollars it gets to treat people, mostly seniors, on Medicare.
The idea behind the fines is that if hospitals treat patients correctly the first time, the long-term costs of care will go down. But Capital Regional Medical Center is facing fines for having too many repeat patients in a month. Now the hospital is trying to turn that trend around. In a statement, Capital Regional spokeswoman Rachel Bray Stiles says the hospital is focusing on better training for care coordinators and nurses to identify high-risk patients, and forming partnerships with local health clinics to assist uninusred patients once they go home.
According to Kaiser Health News:
Last year, nearly 18 percent of Medicare patients who had been hospitalized were readmitted within a month. While that is lower than past years, roughly 2 million patients return a year, costing Medicare $26 billion. Officials estimate $17 billion of that comes from potentially avoidable readmissions.
Capital Regional isn’t the only hospital in the state being docked. According to the federal government, nearly 79 percent of the Florida hospitals are being penalized for high readmission rates. Nationwide 2,610 hospitals got fined.
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital has not gotten any penalties since the federal government began tracking readmission data.