Feds Pilot New Hospital Quality Measures

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pilot testing two new hospital quality measures it is planning to include next year on its Hospital Compare website (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov). The measures are a hospital-wide readmission’s indicator and a hip and knee replacement complications and readmission’s measure. Meanwhile, CMS is ready to implement a program to reduce payments to hospitals with excess readmission’s for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and pneumonia. Mandated by the Affordable Care Act and set to begin October 1, 2012, the program calculates hospitals’ excess readmission ratio using three years of discharge data and a minimum of 25 cases for each condition. During the first year of the program the maximum penalty a hospital could face is capped at 1 percent of inpatient base operating payments. For additional information, visit www.cms.gov and search for the Readmissions Reduction Program.