Medicare hospital pay-for-performance set to launch in 2012

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 9, 2011

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Hospitals and other facilities will be rewarded for improving the quality of care they provide to patients starting in October 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on April 29.

An estimated $850 million has been allocated for hospitals that meet quality measures under the new value-based purchasing system. The Medicare agency plans to offset the bonus pool by reducing the total pay to all hospitals under the inpatient prospective payment system by 1% next year, said CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick, MD.

CMS outlined at least four targets hospitals must hit to qualify for bonuses. They are:

  • Ensure that patients who may have had a heart attack receive care within 90 minutes.
  • Provide care to surgery patients to prevent blood clots within a 24-hour window.
  • Communicate discharge instructions to heart failure patients.
  • Ensure that hospital facilities are clean and well-maintained.

Starting in 2014, hospitals will face reductions in pay for not meeting quality objectives, Dr. Berwick said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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