The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) penalized 758 hospitals nationwide for facilities-acquired infections. The hospitals were fined with a one percent Medicare payment reduction for one year.
The one percent annual payment reduction will spare CMS around $364 million. The penalty will be applied for claims filed between Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016.
Out of 3,308 nationwide health providers, 758 garnered the worst Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HAC) scores and were subjected the one percent penalty. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, the percentile score cutoff was 7.0. In FY16, it dropped to 6.75 due to the increased number of hospitals who earned low scores.
In FY15, 21.9 percent of U.S.-wide hospitals belonged in the worst acting quartile. In FY16, the percentage surged to 22.9 percent. About 53.7 percent of the worst performing hospitals in FY16 were also on the list in FY15's report.
The U.S. Affordable Care Act established the HAC Reduction Program as an incentive package for hospitals to lower infections acquired in facilities. In FY15, there were 724 penalized hospitals in the U.S., which highlighted an increase in the FY16 figures.
Notably, eligible hospitals' average performance improved on two out of three measures across the two fiscal years. The average Patient Safety Indicator (PSI) 90 Composite Index Value reduced to 0.86 in FY16 from 0.89 in FY15.
The average Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI) Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) reduced from 0.53 in FY15 to 0.48 in FY16. However, the average Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) SIR chalked a slight increase from 1.13 in FY15 to 1.17 in FY16.
A new measure, the Surgical Site Infection (SSI) SIR, debuted this FY16 with a score of 0.95. The FY16 HAC Reduction Program scores and list of penalized hospitals can be found on the CMS website.
"These hospitals will have their payments reduced to 99 percent of what would otherwise have been paid for such discharges," wrote CMS in their FY16 report.
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