Safety-Net Hospitals Lose More Under Medicare’s Quality-Based Payments, Analysis Finds

KHN: NOVEMBER 19TH, 2013

Source: Kaiser Health News analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Medicare’s effort to reward hospitals for quality is leaving many of the nation’s safety-net hospitals poorer, a new analysis finds.

Dr. Ashish K. Jha, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, has found that hospitals treating the most low-income patients on average had their payment rates reduced by 0.09 percent in the latest round of Medicare’s program that rates hospitals’ quality. The hospitals with the fewest low-income patients received an average bonus of 0.6 percent. Government-owned hospitals in particular fared poorly, with Medicare reducing their payment rates by 0.10 percent for a year, according to Jha’s analysis, which he published Tuesday on his Harvard blog. Read More