Thursday, December 28, 2017

Obamacare Rules Penalize 751 Hospitals for Injuring Patients

The federal government Thursday lowered a year's worth of Medicare payments to 751 hospitals to penalize them for having the highest rates of patient injuries. More than half also were punished last year through the penalty, which was created by the Affordable Care Act and began four years ago. The program is designed as a financial incentive for hospitals to avoid infections and other mishaps, such as blood clots and bedsores. The penalties again fell heavily on teaching hospitals, although less than before. A third of them were punished this year, a Kaiser Health News analysis of the penalties found. Last year, the penalty was levied on nearly half of the nation's teaching hospitals.

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The penalties have been controversial from the beginning. The hospital industry faults them as unfairly punishing hospitals that treat sicker patients and those that do a better job of identifying infections and other patient complications.

Patient advocates say that, while not perfect, the penalties have been a valuable prod to make hospital executives consider more than the bottom line.

Comments

Obamacare was 2000 pages, and Nancy Pelosi absentmindedly said they'd have to pass it to find out what's in it.

Here's what's in it ... medical errors account for hundreds of thousands of patient deaths EVERY YEAR. That does NOT account for the 2 to 4 million patients that are injured in American hospitals EVERY YEAR.

So it should be not hard to understand that Obamacare wasn't just about the exchanges and the individual mandate ...

It was also all about creating quality and safety standards that NEVER existed before -- in an industry that accounts for 3 trillion dollars annually, of which 30% is waste with no benefit to patients, and more often than not harms patients (Obamacare naysayers need to re-read this sentence a few thousand times).

Before Obamacare, private healthcare had ZERO incentive to improve how well they treated patients because their mistakes and errors could easily be hidden from the public. And while mistakes and errors from private healthcare still mostly don't see the light of day, the U.S. Government is watching for shoddy clinical practices and watching for poor quality of care that injures patients.

Also, Obama made the same mistake that Pelosi did by saying people could keep their doctor -- well, why the hell would any intelligent person want to keep a doctor NOT adhering to ANY quality and safety standards? Duh!

So there you go, Obama and Pelosi were right, and all the stupid Republican talking points about keeping one's doctor and finding out what was in the ACA are all moot -- and this is why Republicans will never repeal Obamacare (undermine it, yes ... but they'll never fully repeal it).

#1 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2017-12-27 07:27 PM

For everyone who says both sides are the same here is a very clear example of how that is utter nonsense.

The Democrats are fighting to make patients safer and incentivise delivering a better product. They want to protect patients from injuries due to bad practices

The republicans want tort reform to make it harder for injured patients to seek recompense and limit how much they can recieve. They want to protect doctors from patients THEY INJURED.

#2 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-12-28 11:00 AM

"They want to protect patients from injuries due to bad practices."

Republicans do too. They just want to go a step further and eliminate healthcare altogether so you won't die from healthcare.

You just don't want to understand their "logic".

#3 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-28 11:19 AM

Yet still no penalties for hospitals charging $200 for a Tylenol pill or $150 for 5 bottles of water (both from my bill when I got my gall bladder removed). Errors are subjective and, while definitely needing the Obamacare oversight, are going to be argued over and over again. A $200 Tylenol pill is not and yet they don't do anything about it.

#4 | Posted by humtake at 2017-12-28 12:11 PM

A $200 Tylenol pill is not and yet they don't do anything about it.

#4 | Posted by humtake

Who are "they"? Republicans have been in charge for a year now.

"They" own Obamacare now.

Pretty sure Trump promised me "everything I could dream of for my country".

Trump also promised to:

"Completely repeal" the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something "terrific" that is "so much better, so much better, so much better." Americans will have "great health care at a fraction of the cost."

Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.

Bring down drug prices by importing cheaper medications from overseas and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

Require price transparency from health-care providers so patients can shop for the best prices.

When will "they" fulfill their promises to the American people?

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-28 01:04 PM

Yet still no penalties for hospitals charging $200 for a Tylenol pill or $150 for 5 bottles of water (both from my bill when I got my gall bladder removed). Errors are subjective and, while definitely needing the Obamacare oversight, are going to be argued over and over again. A $200 Tylenol pill is not and yet they don't do anything about it.

#4 | POSTED BY HUMTAKE AT 2017-12-28 12:11 PM | REPLY

Because a $200 tylenol pill is the result of cost spreading and is not a mistake or an error or a problem in itself. It is a symptom of the republican push to keep people uninsured so that the hospital has to cover ER visits from uninsured by charging you $200 for a tylenol. If everyone is insured then your friend the market will no longer require $200 tylenols.

Without Obamacare it would be $400 by now.

#6 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-12-28 01:26 PM

#4 | Posted by humtake

How about you get the GOP to work on that for you? Oh that's right - never gonna happen.

#7 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-12-28 01:36 PM

obama should be admired as, after all, he did receive a Nobel Peace Prize..... [The operative word is 'receive', not earn].

#8 | Posted by MSgt at 2017-12-28 11:10 PM

obama should be admired as, after all, he did receive a Nobel Peace Prize..... [The operative word is 'receive', not earn].

#8 | POSTED BY MSGT

Why didn't Republicans simply take credit for their ideas?

The individual mandate and leaving the health insurance markets intact, thereby also leaving in the profit motive within U.S. healthcare system, are all original Republican policy ideas ... but Republicans immediately ran away from them the milli-second President Blackenstein decided to use them.

#9 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2017-12-29 01:48 PM

"A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running."
-- Groucho Marx

And the longer that meter runs, the higher the chances for injuring the patient.

• meter running = fee-for-service healthcare (before Obamacare)

• evidence based medicine = higher quality, safer, less expensive healthcare (Obamacare)

My only question is ... why do Republicans always want to undermine Americans from getting access to safer healthcare?

#10 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2017-12-29 02:06 PM

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