Maine Coast Memorial Hospital is among 758 hospitals nationally that will be penalized for high rates of patient safety incidents. Kaiser Health reports these hospitals will face a one percent penalty on all Medicare payments through September 2016.
Hospital officials tell Star 97.7, that equates to about 70 thousand dollars in penalties for the Ellsworth based hospital. Chief Nursing Officer Ardelle Bigos says the data used in the assessment is from between July 2012 and June 2014. She says processes have been put in place to improve outcomes that won’t be reflected by the dated data. She says they do take the data seriously and it is always helpful to continue and update best practices at Maine Coast.
Kaiser Health says the penalties are based on the government’s assessment of the frequency of several kinds of infections, sepsis, hip fractures and other complications. The assessment does not include veterans hospitals, children’s hospitals or “critical” access hospitals such as Mount Desert Island Hospital or Blue Hill Memorial Hospital. Kaiser also reports the “health law requires Medicare to punish a quarter of hospitals each year.”
Hospital officials say they wish instead of being penalized, that money could be used to invest in safety improvements. Seven other facilities in Maine were also penalized. Read the full list here.