Seven hospitals in Northeast Florida are losing Medicare funding for having high rates of hospital-acquired infections and other patient safety hazards. Under a provision in the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are graded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on patient safety. Hospitals are assigned scores on a 10-point scale.
Those in the bottom 25 percent lose reimbursements they receive for treating Medicare patients. Seven hospitals in Northeast Florida will lose 1 percent of their Medicare reimbursements, which amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is of course, also damage to the reputation of the hospital to consider.
Patient safety, especially sanitation, must be a major priority for these institutions. Hospital-acquired infections, which include superbugs like MRSA, are responsible for almost 100,000 deaths every year.
How to Check Your Local Hospital for Patient Safety Hazards
Fortunately, patients can pull data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to make an informed decision on where to receive care. Data included in the CMS database may include the following information:
- Generation information about the hospital
- Patient surveys
- Information on the timeliness and effectiveness of care
- Complications patients experienced
- Hospital readmission and death rates
- Use of medical imaging
The website’s search engine allows you to compare hospitals within a specific zip code, city or state. It is important for patients or family members to know this information so they can avoid hospitals with high rates of infections or poorer patient outcomes. Medical mistakes and infections are among the leading causes of death in American hospitals.