CMS cuts payments to 751 hospitals for patient injuries: 6 things to know

CMS will cut 751 hospitals' Medicare payments in fiscal year 2018 for having the highest rates of hospital-acquired conditions.

Here are six things to know about the HAC Reduction Program and the hospitals receiving penalties.

1. Created under the ACA, the HAC Reduction Program aims to prevent harm to patients by providing a financial incentive for hospitals to prevent hospital-acquired conditions. Under the program, a hospital's total score is based on performance on six quality measures: central-line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, Clostridium difficile infections, and the Patient Safety Indicators 90 Composite, which includes 10 types of in-hospital injuries.

2. Each year, Medicare cuts payments by 1 percent for hospitals that fall in the worst-performing quartile. In fiscal year 2018, 751 hospitals will have their Medicare payments reduced.

3. As in past years, many of the nation's academic medical centers were penalized under the program. According to a Kaiser Health News analysis, 115 teaching hospitals will have their payments reduced in fiscal year 2018.

4. Hospitals that serve poorer and sicker patient populations were also fined more than hospitals with a more affluent patient base. Approximately one-third of safety-net hospitals evaluated under the HAC Reduction Program were penalized in fiscal year 2018, according to Kaiser Health News.

5. The hospital industry has argued the methodology used for the HAC Reduction Program doesn't recognize improvement, because roughly 700 hospitals will lose money every year even if they improved their safety records, according to Kaiser Health News.

6. A list of the 751 hospitals penalized for fiscal year 2018 can be found here.

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