A new bill in the Senate would require Medicare to add a risk-adjustment component to its controversial hospital readmissions reduction program.
The Hospital Readmission Program Accuracy and Accountability Act, a bipartisan bill, would compel Medicare to consider the socio-economic status of the patients a hospital serves when determining whether it should be penalized for “excessive” readmissions.
The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has long felt that the readmissions reduction program penalizes private safety-net hospitals for conditions beyond their control, and in recent years, a number of academic and government studies have confirmed this belief. MedPAC, too, has advised Congress to urge Medicare to consider adding risk-adjustment to the program because it feared that the financial penalties it imposes could eventually discourage hospitals from serving higher-risk patients.
NAUH has endorsed this bill.
Learn more about the Hospital Readmission Program Accuracy and Accountability Act from this news release from one of the bill’s sponsors.