Smaller hospitals fare well on CMS quality measures

Many community hospitals did better than many prestigious academic medical centers in terms of care quality penalties and awards from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Kaiser Health News reported.

Altogether, CMS will give 1,557 hospitals more money and will penalize 1,427 when the revised payments begin next month, according to the article. How the hospitals fare is based primarily on how they follow 12 basic standards of care, such as giving beta blockers to heart surgery patients to lower their blood pressure. Ratings by patients also will factor into the scores.

About $1 billion in total payments are tied to the scores, although two-thirds of hospitals will receive relatively negligent payments or penalties--about a quarter of a percent of their overall Medicare payments, according to Medpage Today.

Regions containing large urban areas, such as the District of Columbia, Connecticut and New York will fare the worst. Meanwhile, more rural states such as Maine, Nebraska, Utah and South Carolina will fare the best, KHN noted.

The biggest bonus will go to Treasure Valley Hospital, a 10-bed physician-owned facility in Idaho, which will receive a nearly 1 percent payment bump. Meanwhile, New York-Presbyterian Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital will both receive payment reductions.

For more:
- read the Kaiser Health News article
- read the MedPage Today article