Four hospitals face possible Medicare penalities

Patients are being readmitted within 30 days to four hospitals in Connecticut at higher than national rates after they have suffered from pneumonia, heart failure and heart attacks. As a result, those hospitals are facing Medicare penalties in 2012.

A report by the Connecticut Health Investigative Team ( reveals that two of those hospitals, Yale-New Haven and MidState Medical Center in Meriden, exceeded the national readmission rate for both 2009 and 2010.

The other two institutions that are cited by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and The Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven.

C-HIT writer Lisa Chedekel quotes health experts are saying that “high readmission rates for pneumonia, as well as other conditions, are mainly driven by lapses in post-discharge planning and follow-up care.”