November 3, 2020

CMS penalizes 2,545 hospitals for high readmissions

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will penalize and reduce a year’s worth of payments to nearly half of the nation’s hospitals because of 30-day readmission rates, the November 2 Kaiser Health News reports. The penalties are part of the ninth year of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program created under the Affordable Care Act.

The average reduction is 0.69%, and 613 hospitals will receive a penalty of 1% or higher. The penalties were calculated using data from July 2016 to June 2019, so this year’s COVID-19 patients were not included.


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CMS announced in September that it may suspend the penalty program in the future if the pandemic, including the moratorium on elective surgeries, makes it too difficult to assess hospital performance.

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