Ask the nursing expert ... about readmissions penalties

Share this article:
Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA
Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA

What do we need to know about federal authorities coming out with more penalties for hospitals?

Round 2 of the government's campaign to reduce the number of patients being readmitted to a hospital within 30 days arrived this month. There are 2,225 hospitals that will have payments reduced, and fines will be assessed in the $227 million range. 

Some of the larger hospitals could lose more than $1 million. The overall number of penalized hospitals stayed about the same over the past year. 

Skilled nursing facilities must not sit and ponder this for too long — the time to act is now! There are major changes in our post-acute world. We can be the game changers in the whole broken healthcare system. 

Nurses can be leaders in saying what is needed. For instance, we should have reimbursement for the clinical/rehabilitation programs we use that  keep patients out of the hospital. We can point to proven, evidence-based outcomes showing this to be true. It should be recognized that we are preventing the exacerbation of problems by focusing on and using the necessary follow-up on preventative wellness, medication compliance and disease management.  

We do these things for better healthcare, reduction of costs, and because it is the RIGHT thing for patients and their quality of life. 

Yet, it is a win-win: We are trying to increase our revenue, and we save taxpayers money. 

If we do not act, the changes will go on without us, SNFs will begin to be penalized for readmissions along with hospitals, and/or bundled payment will begin. 

At that point, we will not have as much say in reimbursement or the rise of accountable care organizations. That's why I believe that the choice is ours — but not for long.


Share this article:

More in News

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate arrested

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate ...

A double murder occurred late Tuesday night in a Houston nursing home room shared by four men, according to local authorities. Police arrested Guillermo Correa on suspicion of beating two ...

$2 million HIPAA settlement highlights mobile device risks facing healthcare providers

Laptops and other mobile devices containing personal health information have been stolen from long-term care ombudsman programs and other healthcare organizations, including from Concentra Health Services and QCA Health Plan Inc. Now, Concentra and QCA have agreed to legal settlements totaling nearly $2 million, federal ...

Long-term care nurses often 'scramble' to get family members' blessing for palliative ...

Nursing home residents might not transition to full palliative care until they are very near death, at which point nurses and family members act in a state of crisis, suggests recently published research out of Canada.