Is Obamacare Helping Hospitals Keep Patients Healthier?

National Journal: “Hospitals are doing a better job at keeping patients healthy, and it’s partly due to reforms put in place by the Affordable Care Act.”

“Hospitals prevented nearly 15,000 deaths and 560,000 injuries by reducing additional illnesses and infections acquired in the hospital, preliminary data from the Health and Human Services Department show. That would mean upward of $4 billion in overall health-spending savings between 2010 and 2012, according to Wednesday’s report.”

Jason Millman: HHS “partially attributed the decrease to Affordable Care Act programs, one of which penalizes hospitals for high readmission rates and another which rewards hospitals for quality care. The readmission penalties alone hit 2,225 hospitals last year. These programs, which took effect in October 2012, are still new, and the industry is still working through how the incentive structures could be better targeted.”

National Journal: “While some of these practices were in place in hospitals prior to the Affordable Care Act, according to the AHA, only now are the changes accelerating across the nation.”


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