Medicare penalties are hitting safety net hospitals hardest

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' value-based purchasing program, in which hospitals are financially penalized for not meeting certain quality benchmarks, may be hurting safety net hospitals more than other facilities, according to a new study. The research, performed by Ashish K. Jha, M.D. of the Harvard School of Public Health, concluded that hospitals with a large proportion of low-income patients saw their payments reduced an average of 0.09 percent, with public facilities seeing cuts of 0.1 percent. By contrast, hospitals with more affluent patients have seen their payments increase an average of 0.6 percent. Read the full report at FierceHealthcare