Repost: Safety Net Hospitals Could Lose Money In Medicare Changes, Study Warns

Jordan Rau at Kaiser Health News wrote an article dated July 16 on the changes in Medicare that could affect safety net hospitals across the country. The article states how Medicare will be using patient experience ratings to measure adjusting hospital payments.

“When Medicare begins adjusting hospital payments in October based on quality, one of the primary metrics will be patient experience ratings that cover everything from the communication skills of doctors and nurses to their promptness in responding to complaints about pain.

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that safety net hospitals tend to get poorer marks from patients than do other hospitals. On average, they drew top ratings from 63.9 percent of patients while the hospitals that treated the fewest poor people got top ratings from 69.5 percent of patients.”

The gap between how their patients rate them and the scores that other hospitals get has widened in the four years that hospitals have had to publicly report their survey results, making new hospitals worried that the new scoring system will skew the amount of funding for certain safety net institutions.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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