Medicare penalizing Pa. hospitals over infections, injuries

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Federal officials are penalizing some western Pennsylvania hospitals, citing higher rates of infections and injuries arising from treatment than are found in other facilities.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid cited federal data ranking eight hospitals in the region in the bottom quarter of the nation’s hospitals at preventing hospital-acquired conditions.

That has triggered penalties meant to improve patient safety under the new health care law that will mean Medicare withholding 1 percent of reimbursements next year, a total of about $364 million.

Quality officers at the hospitals say the measures don’t reflect the difficulties of treating complex patients and that many patients are being referred from smaller community hospitals. They say they are starting to look at each infection and injury and ways to prevent them.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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