Wisconsin Hospitals and Medicare Sanctions

In recent years, the federal government has developed programs that are designed to investigate and document patient safety violations in hospitals. These violations consider the frequency of certain patient safety issues such as infections, hip fractures, and other types of complications. Based on these violations, the government then sanctions those hospitals accordingly in terms of their Medicare funding, which will gradually decrease by one percent over the 2016 fiscal year. The combined sanctions against the 758 hospitals that committed violations by the end of 2015 will cause funding losses to hospitals in the estimated amount of $364 million. Over half of these hospitals also received Medicare sanctions during the prior year.

A total of 15 Wisconsin hospitals will face Medicare sanctions this year for patient safety violations in 2015. Eleven of these 15 hospitals faced similar sanctions during the 2015 fiscal year. It is this kind of information that patients need when they are considering hospitals for medical treatment. Furthermore, the hope of the federal government is that hospitals will make more efforts to avoid the biggest threats to patient safety while patients are in their care, such as falling or contracting an infection. Aside from these patient safety concerns, the federal government eventually will base the Medicare sanctions on additional criteria, as well. While hospitals complain that certain types of hospitals are exempt from the sanctions, and the criteria does not consider the size of the facility or the actual cause of the incident that resulted in the patient safety violation finding.

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