POSTED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 6:55pm
UPDATED: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 12:03pm
TYLER — The feds have decided hospitals need to cut down on readmissions.
In other words, when a patient leaves the hospital...Medicare now wants the hospitals to make sure they're well enough to not have to come back within a 30 day period...this saves money.
So what Medicare has decided to do is penalize the hospitals that have a slightly higher than normal readmission rate...
Today, KETK spoke with Dr. Kirk Calhoun, president of UT Health Science Center.
He says about 2/3 of all hospitals in the nation were penalized.
According to documents obtained by KETK, we counted about 17 East Texas hospitals on the list.
Calhoun says UT was only penalized 16-one hundredths of a percent (.16) which is only about $30,000 a year.
And they want to fix that. But the problem is, how do you really keep a patient from having to come back when there are outside factors to consider...like what resources that patient has...and if the patient even has a home to go to!
But Calhoun does like the fact that the hospitals should be responsible for that.
"I think that's...good...I still wish however they took into account some of these other factors that hospitals have no way of controlling. At least, right now. We're gonna have to figure out how to control those factors," Calhoun said.
Dr. Calhoun also tells KETK some of the hospitals that have high readmission rates, also have low mortality rates.
So he says they definitely don't want to bring the mortality rates up, just to keep people out of the hospital.
To see the full list of East Texas hospitals and their penalties, click here.