Hospital finance

Hospitals' readmissions fines are down

Teaching and rural hospitals had lower penalties in 2019 than in 2018 under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' readmissions reduction program, Modern Healthcare reports.

The big picture: This was the intended consequence of changes made to the program to take into account the patient mix in these hospitals. The hospitals — particularly safety net hospitals — had said they were unfairly penalized.

States looking to cap hospital rates

In this illustration, a needle forms part of an increasing green line that mimics a stock market line.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Some states are trying to control health care costs by tying hospital payments in their state employee health plans to the amounts Medicare pays, Kaiser Health News reports.

The other side: This is a nightmare scenario for hospitals, which usually charge private insurance plans several times more than they get from Medicare.