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Nearly all N.J. hospitals face Medicare readmission penalties

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According to new data released this week by the federal government, every New Jersey hospital except for one will receive penalties for having too many Medicare patients readmitted within a month of being discharged.

Data compiled by Kaiser Health News shows that 63 New Jersey hospitals, some 97 percent of all hospitals in the state, will be penalized for the 2016 fiscal year, with an average Medicare funding cut of 0.73 percent. No other state had a higher percentage of penalized hospitals.

Several hospitals received exemptions from the assessed penalties. The results largely mirror those from the previous fiscal year, when 98 percent of all New Jersey hospitals received fines.

The Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus was the only institution not to be penalized.

However, several hospitals, including Livingston’s Saint Barnabas and the Morristown Medical Center, received minimal cuts such as 0.01 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively.

Nationally, 54 percent of all hospitals face penalties, with an average cut of 0.61 percent.

The program, now in its fourth year under the Affordable Care Act, is designed to incentivize hospitals to maintain a high quality of care and keep readmission rates down.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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