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More Than 40 NY Hospitals Penalized for High Rates of Medical Error

More than 40 hospitals throughout the state of New York have been penalized for having high rates of potentially avoidable medical mistakes. According to Health Care Finance News, the penalized facilities include hospitals in the Bronx, Brooklyn and New York City, as well as in many other locations statewide. hospital-corridor-2-65904-m

A New York medical practice lawyer knows that mistakes made in hospitals can have a devastating impact on the health of patients receiving treatment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pays out billions of dollars annually to hospitals and other healthcare providers. When hospitals are penalized for a failure to provide adequate patient care, this can have a major impact on the facility's finances. Hopefully, Medicaid and Medicare penalties coupled with private legal actions taken by victims will be a strong deterrent to hospitals that are putting their patients at risk.

Hospitals Face Penalties for Avoidable Medical Mistakes

Medicare and Medicaid set pay rates for treatment received by seniors and low income patients respectively. Hospitals must participate with Medicaid and Medicare if they wish to be reimbursed when they provide treatment for patients with these government insurance benefits. A part of participating means agreeing to comply with basic requirements for providers set forth by CMS and other regulatory authorities.

If facilities fail to comply with the Medicare or Medicaid guidelines, they may no longer be eligible to provide covered treatment or they may face financial penalties for their failures.

To determine if hospitals are able to perform effectively and thus remain eligible for Medicare and Medicaid finding, CMS evaluates hospitals to determine the number of hospital-acquired conditions that develop. A hospital-acquired condition is a medical problem a patient develops while receiving care at a hospital. These conditions are not caused by the patient's underlying health problem but instead are the result of some failure by care providers.

There are three types of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) that Medicare evaluates when determining whether a hospital should be penalized for preventable medical mistakes. The first is Central-line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSIs). The second is urinary tract infections that are associated with catheters. These are abbreviated CAUTI.  Finally, the last is referred to as "Serious Complications." Serious complications include eight types of injuries including bed sores, blood clots and falls.

Hospitals were given a score from one to 10 based on these three types of HACs. Any hospital that had a score of seven or above faced penalties.  A total of 41 hospitals in the state of New York will be penalized. A total of 721 hospitals nationwide also will be penalized for performing poorly.

The penalties involve a one-percent reduction in Medicare payments during the fiscal year running from October 2014 to September 2015. This means all Medicare payments made to the hospitals for treating patients will be reduced by one percent of Medicare's normal reimbursement rate. This can add up to substantial amounts of money and hopefully the hospitals that are losing out will do better next year. Improvements are good for patients as well as for the hospitals' bottom line.

For more information about how a medical malpractice attorney in New York can help you with your medical malpractice case, contact Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC. Call 212-736-0979 or visit and schedule a free consultation today.

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