Big city hospitals in the United States have been severely penalized for readmission of patients with heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.
In 2013, 2,200 hospitals forfeited more than $280 million in Medicare funds due to readmission penalties stipulated by the Affordable Care Act, researchers said.
"Major urban hospitals serving poorer, under-employed and under-educated patients are affected the most by the penalties for readmission," said Arshad Javed, M.D., chief author of the study.
Researchers used census figures and other indicators to evaluate the socioeconomic status of the patient population in the large hospitals.
Detroit and Newark have the nation's highest average readmission penalties. Chicago is one of eight Northern cities with significantly higher readmission penalties compared to hospitals in the rest of the state, researchers said.
Cuts in Medicare payments for safety net hospitals could lead to more reduced access to care, Javed said.
Readmission penalties should be adjusted for the socioeconomic status of the patient population, researchers said. Hospital-to-home initiatives may improve patient care and outcomes more than a penalty system.
Arshad Javed, M.D., chief medical resident, John D. Dingell V.A. Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.
For Media Inquiries:
AHA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173
AHA News Media Office, Nov. 15-19,
at the McCormick Place Convention Center: (312) 949-3400
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.