The federal government has penalized 764 hospitals — including more than three dozen it simultaneously rates as among the best in the country — for having the highest numbers of patient infections and potentially avoidable complications.
The penalties — a 1% reduction in Medicare payments over 12 months — are based on the experiences of Medicare patients discharged from the hospital between July 2018 and the end of 2019, before the pandemic began in earnest.
The punishments, which the Affordable Care Act requires be assessed on the worst-performing 25% of general hospitals each year, are intended to make hospitals focus on reducing bedsores, hip fractures, blood clots, and the cohort of infections that before covid-19 were the biggest scourges in hospitals. Those include surgical infections, urinary tract infections from catheters, and antibiotic-resistant germs like MRSA.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Antibiotic Prescriptions Associated With COVID-19 Outpatient Visits Among Medicare Beneficiaries, April 2020 to April 2021
Outpatient Visits for COVID-19 and Associated Antibiotic Prescriptions Among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 65 Years or Older, by Setting, US, April 2020 to April 2021. The volume of COVID-19 visits differed by setting: emergency department, 525 608 (45.8% of all visits); office, 295 983 (25.3%); telehealth, 260 261 (22.3%); and urgent care, 77 268 (6.6%).
Source: Journal of American Medical Association Network