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Hospitals poor on patient safety that you might want to avoid

Written by Diane Archer

You should think twice before using hospitals poor on patient safety. Medicare recently penalized 721 hospitals in the United States for their high rates of avoidable infections and complications.  These hospitals ranked in the bottom 25 percent of hospitals surveyed.

Medicare looked at two different types of avoidable infections–certain blood-stream infections and certain urinary tract infections. It also looked at avoidable complications that result from eight different types of injuries, including bed sores, falls, and blood clots.

For a list of the hospitals penalized, click here.  Earlier this year, Medicare penalized 2610 hospitals for high readmission rates.  In Medicare’s view, these hospitals should have done a better job of caring for patients when they were first hospitalized so as to avoid their need for readmission.

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  • It’s wrong to penalize hospitals whose patients needed treatment twice in 30 days (readmissions). Medicare penalties are pushing hospitals to decline the frailest patients, saying, “You’re not a good candidate for treatment.” When these sickest patients go elsewhere or die, the hospital saves itself readmission penalties of $20,000 to $200,000 each. See the penalties at http://globe1234.org/hospitals.xls

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