The Affordable Care Act established three mandatory pay-for-performance programs. The three programs are the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, and the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. Since the law was enacted hospitals have been scrambling to meet the requirements of all three programs to avoid the possible loss of 5.4 percent of Medicare payments if maximum penalties are assessed.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that one out of every eight patients suffered a potentially avoidable complication during a hospital stay in 2012. The Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program was created as part of an effort to improve patient safety, create a financial incentive to improve care, and hold hospitals responsible for their negligence and dangerous conditions.
Medicare will begin penalizing hospitals that have the highest rates of patients that acquire new infections or injuries during their hospital stay in October. The preliminary list of approximately 750 hospitals Medicare expects to penalize was encompasses nearly a quarter of the nation's hospitals and is available here. Hospitals with the worst rates for hospital-acquired injuries and illnesses will lose 1 percent of every Medicare payment for the next year.