Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While talk in October often focuses on budgets, Halloween, and football; for hospitals, October 1, 2012 represents a completely new way they will be paid by Medicare for providing health care under the Affordable Care Act.
According to the Washington Post, two parts of the health care reform law go into effect today. The first will penalize hospitals if a patient is re-admitted within one month of a visit for a condition that should have been dealt with on the first trip, including ailments caused by the first visit, according to the Post.
The second part of the plan will try to redistribute higher Medicare payments to the hospitals that are delivering better care, according to the Post. It would be similar to a plan giving a better-performing school more education funding.
For the first part of the law going into effect Monday, the Post reported that re-admissions happened on 15 percent of hospital admissions and cost roughly $17.5 billion in 2010 alone. If hospitals don’t change that, they could lose up to 1 percent of their reimbursement rate.
The second part will take 1 percent of payments to approximately 3,000 hospitals and that money will be pooled and hospitals that perform well will get a bigger chunk of the money. The goal being to provide higher quality care, rather than high quantity care, according to the Post.