Several hospitals in Alabama, including one here in Mobile, will lose some Medicare funding because they failed to prevent “hospital-acquired conditions” or things like infections and injuries. Kaiser Health News released a list of hospitals they say have a higher rate of patient safety incidents.
On the list are 758 hospitals, including seven in Alabama–Springhill Medical Center is the only one in mobile.
As a result, those hospitals will be penalized and will lose up to 1% of their Medicare funding.
Rosemary Blackmon with the Alabama Hospital Association disagrees with the way the hospitals are scored because no matter how much they improve, those in the lower 25th percentile will always be penalized.
“There are some other things that penalize those hospitals with more complex patients, which is not really fair. They don’t do a really good job of risk-adjusting for those patients. And in some cases, the difference between hospitals that are maybe at the 26th percentile rather than at the 25th may be a 10th of a point. So, having this arbitrary cutoff, we believe, is not appropriate.”
Blackmon says Alabama hospitals have made great strides in improving patient care safety.
And this month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced there was a 17% decrease in the number of hospital-acquired conditions.