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Hospital Readmission Rates Continue to Rise in Illinois, Financial Penalties Add Up

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Illinois Hospital Readmission Rates on the Rise

The federal government imposes fines on hospitals with high readmission rates. Under this Medicare program, which aims to uphold the standard of care (during treatment and after discharge), hospitals are evaluated on readmission rates of patients who were treated for heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, knee or hip replacements, and lung ailments (i.e. chronic bronchitis). If too many patients are readmitted to a hospital less than 30 days after being treated, the original healthcare facility is subject to financial penalties. The ‘too many’ threshold is quantified by Medicare using each hospital’s patient demographics and how the hospital industry performs overall. Since 2012, when this federal program was enacted, eighty-two hospitals in Illinois have had increasing rates of patient readmission. Illinois ranks 8th nationally for the state with the highest readmission penalties after Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, D.C., New York, and New Jersey.

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