Senators Wish to Revamp Readmissions Program | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Senators Wish to Revamp Readmissions Program

June 20, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints


The mandatory Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program that has many healthcare IT leaders on their toes could get a revamp, a bipartisan group of Senators have their way.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) recently introduced the Hospital Readmission Accuracy and Accountability Act, which would revamp the original program to ensure hospitals that serve low-income populations aren't penalized as harshly. It would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to account for patient socio-economic status when calculating risk-adjusted readmissions penalties. 
Readmissions is typically higher among low-income patients, due to lack of support outside the hospital, cultural and linguistic challenges, homelessness, illiteracy, and poor access to auxiliary healthcare services. The four Senators say the revamped act would go a long way in assisting hospitals that serve these patients. 
“We must continue to hold our hospitals accountable for the quality of care they’re providing to Medicare patients, but we cannot let differences in income serve as an obstacle to improving health outcomes,” Senator Manchin said in a statement. “Hospitals serving disproportionate numbers of disadvantaged, low-income patients will have higher rates of readmissions, even when they provide high-quality, patient-focused care. Failing to recognize this reality has led to unfair penalties at many rural hospitals in West Virginia and around the country, which is why we need to reform this program immediately."
The revamped act was sponsored by the American Hospital Association and other provider-based organizations. 


Survey: By 2019, 60% of Medicare Revenues will be Tied to Risk

Medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019, according to the results from a recent survey.

83% of Physicians Have Experienced a Cyber Attack, Survey Finds

Eighty-three percent of physicians in a recent survey said that they have experienced some sort of cyber attack, such as phishing and viruses.

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.