A recent review of avoidable patient complications and injuries conducted by the federal government as a part of its Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program (HAC) established by the Affordable Care Act found that 20 Indiana hospitals reported high rates of patient safety incidents and complications resulting from such incidents. The program, aimed at reducing avoidable injuries and other instances of medical negligence such as patient bed sores, falls, and blood clots, found that each of these hospitals had high rates of such incidents when compared to other facilities both statewide and nationally. As a result of these findings, each of these 20 hospitals will have their Medicare payments reduced by 1% resulting in potentially millions of dollars among each medical facility being lost during the 2016 fiscal year. Of the Indiana hospitals penalized, a majority of these hospitals were located in the Indianapolis area and neighboring communities such as Carmel, Noblesville, and Kokomo. One such facility, a small 6-bed hospital located in Carmel, defended its low score due to an isolated incident in 2013, which represented a higher incident rate due to the facility’s low patient volume. However, even if the rate of incident was higher in the specialized Carmel facility, these findings by the federal government were representative of over 750 hospitals across the nation that will be penalized in 2016 due to poor HAC scores. To find out more about the Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program please visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/HAC-Reduction-Program.html.
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, underreporting of patient injuries by hospitals has been a major concern in Indiana, but with this new federal program intended to review and investigate avoidable hospital injuries, it is likely that some of these underreporting concerns will be alleviated. Although the HAC intends to penalize facilities for their in ability to prevent otherwise avoidable instances of medical negligence, it’s important that those injured as a result of such negligence be fairly compensated for such injuries also. If you or a loved one are injured as a result of medical negligence or hospital injury, please contact the experienced legal team at Schiller Law at 888-578-3100 or at IndyInjured.com to find out more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.