The new 21st Century Cures Act includes something private safety-net hospitals have long advocated: socio-economic risk adjustment of Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program.

NAUH LogoNAUH has been urging Congress and the administration to introduce such a risk-adjustment component ever since the 2010 health care reform law was adopted.

The bill, passed by Congress and signed earlier this week by President Obama, requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to introduce a system of such adjustments to ensure that hospitals that serve especially large numbers of socio-economically challenging patients are not treated unfairly by the Medicare program. While the bill calls for an implementation methodology based on the proportion of patients hospitals serve that are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, it also authorizes CMS to consider and implement other methodologies if it believes it has a better way of measuring the impact of socio-economic status on hospital readmissions.

Learn more about this and other aspects of the Cures law in this National Law Review article.