Medicare penalties take effect
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Medicare patients may get a little extra attention when they're admitted to the hospital due to new regulations.
As of Monday, Medicare are fining hospitals that re-admit too many patients within 30 days of treatment. The penalty is the latest installment of the Affordable Care Act which aims to improve quality of care.
However, the government estimates more than 2,000 health care providers will have to pay an average of about $125,000 under the new program. Analysts say some health facilities will struggle more than others.
Sage Colleges Health Admin. Program Dir. Dr. Kimberly Fredericks said, "It's difficult because you're now taking the risk, the hospital's now taking the risk of the patient complying, and also getting to the patient. And so I do think that's difficult in some areas, especially if you're dealing with a transient population, a homeless population, you have to get them to come back."
The penalties will be capped at one percent of Medicare reimbursements and eventually increase to three percent. Fines will also be imposed on nursing homes and rehab facilities in the next few years.