Friday, October 03, 2014 List of Hospitals Penalized for Readmissions Grows The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has added about 400 hospitals to its list of facilities that will be penalized in 2015 for having what CMS feels are excessive numbers of patients returning to the hospital fewer than 30 days after being discharged. The revised list now includes 2,610 hospitals and covers readmissions for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, total hip replacements, and total knee replacements. According to an article in Modern Healthcare (free access with one-time registration) 39 of the most recently listed hospitals will face the maximum 3% reduction in Medicare reimbursements. The readmissions penalty program began in 2013 as part of a quality improvement effort in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. According to the Modern Healthcare report, "policy experts are increasingly raising concerns that hospitals in poor communities are unfairly punished by the program after observing that safety net providers were more likely to receive penalties in the first 2 years of the program." A complete listing of all penalized hospitals is included in the Modern Healthcare article.