Hospitals underestimate threat of HCAHPS penalties

Despite the looming threat of reduced reimbursements under performance measures, hospitals may be overly optimistic that they will perform well, according to experts at the American College of Health Executives' (ACHE) annual congress in Chicago. In fact, they should probably be shaking in their boots, considering that Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores and other core measures in value-based purchasing will affect their payments.

"Medicare is very clear about this. Average performers won't break even," Edward Murphy, past president and CEO of Carilion Clinic in Blacksburg, Va., and chair of the board at hospitalist group Sound Physicians, said Tuesday.

Value-based purchasing is funded by a reduction in Medicare operating base diagnosis-related group (DRG) payments for all participating hospitals. In fiscal year 2013, there will be a 1 percent MS-DRG operating payment cut for the care rendered last July to the end of March, that is, nine days from today.

Read the entire article here.