SNFs and Hospitals Under Pressure to Limit Readmissions

For the last decade, hospitals have faced immense pressure to prevent large number of readmissions. These efforts require them to partner with post-acute facilities that can provide appropriate care to patients. McKnight’s reports it is important to have few readmissions for hospitals, providers and the government as it helps improve patient care and saves Medicare money.

Medicare has issued penalties through the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program. As per Kaiser Health Network this means payments were decreased for about 2,499 hospitals. This is about half of all hospitals. Beginning this October continuing to September 2022, hospitals will be penalized with a 0.64% reduced payment for each Medicare payment. These penalties will save the government approximately $521 million over the course of the year. The report states “thirty-nine hospitals received the maximum 3% reduction, and 547 hospitals had so few returning patients that they escaped any penalty.”

These penalties have also placed pressure on the skilled nursing industry. Hospitals want to partner with facilities who can provide appropriate care and limit readmissions. For this reason, skilled nursing facilities must limit any “unnecessary hospital transfers or risk referrals.” In 2018, a federal readmission measure was applied to designate the worst nursing homes and they were charged a 2% penalty.

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