Medicare is now publishing “patient safety” ratings for thousands of hospitals in the United States. Medicare’s goal is to base the payment on the actual medical outcome for the patient. In other words, if a patient had surgery and received complications, medicare will pay less. Their intentions are to pay less to the hospitals with high rates of surgical complications, infections, mishaps, and more. I read that if a medicare patient is in the hospital and falls while in the bathroom and fractures a hip, medicare will not pay the full allowed sum.
Medicare has come up with their overall evaluations of how good a hospital is by looking at the national averages of how a hospital compares and the complication statistics. They are looking at how effective a hospital is at avoiding complications and hospital acquired problems.
There are two or more sides to this story. It is wonderful that an institution is doing the studies and showing the public the safer hospitals to go to. On the other hand, its sad to see some people may have to pick up the tab for what is not their fault, especially for those living on a fixed income.
The new data is available on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website.