EOMC facing penalties

Beginning Oct. 1, Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center will be one of 2,225 hospitals nationwide to be penalized by the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services as part of the Affordable Care Act program targeting hospital readmission rates, according to CMS.“Thirty-day readmissions have been a problem identified by CMS for a hospital performance improvement,” said EOMC CEO Mike Carter. “It was estimated that one in five Medicare beneficiaries were readmitted within 30 days of the initial admission and discharge.”According to information released in the Kaiser Health News analysis of data from the CMS, EOMC was one of 172 hospitals nationwide whose Medicare reimbursement rates will be reduced by at least 1 percent. According to the analysis, EOMC received the third-highest penalty rate in Oklahoma for the 2014 fiscal year, among the other 53 Oklahoma hospitals penalized. Neighboring Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith, Ark., received a 2013 penalty of 0.85 percent and a decreased penalty of 0.62 percent for the 2014 fiscal period. Choctaw Nation Health Care in Talihina and St. Edward Mercy Medical Center in Fort Smith, will not be penalized, according to CMS data.“EOMC is a participant in the Oklahoma Hospital Association’s Hospital Engagement Network with a focus on improving avoidable readmissions in Oklahoma’s hospitals,” said Carter. “EOMC has made significant improvements over the past two years and will continue to focus on this issue while providing quality care to our community.”Under the Hospital Readmissions Reductions Program, which began in October 2012, CMS will reduce up to 1 percent of regular reimbursements for hospitals that, during the 2013 fiscal year, have too many patient readmissions within 30 days of a patient’s discharge. Not all medical conditions were included in the HRRP for consideration of penalization. Three medical conditions were targeted: heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.