3 hospitals face penalties for patient safety issues

3 hospitals face penalties for patient safety issues

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three Hawaii hospitals are among 758 facilities nationally that will face Medicare penalties for below-par performance on measures aimed at preventing patient harm.

Maui Memorial Medical Center, Pali Momi Medical Center, and Wahiawa General Hospital will see their Medicare payments reduced by 1 percent for ranking in the bottom quartile nationally under an Affordable Care Act program now in its second year.

Dr. Patrick Conway, deputy administrator and chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the penalties and performance monitoring are aimed at bolstering patient safety.

"Our goal is for all hospitals to improve," he told Modern Healthcare magazine.

This is the second year hospitals have faced Medicare penalties for patient safety measures.

Under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, hospitals are ranked on measures of bloodstream infections in patients with central lines, urinary-tract infections for catheterized patients, surgical-site infections, and a composite score of eight quality measures, such as pressure ulcers and sepsis.

In fiscal year 2016, hospitals that got scores of greater than 6.75 face Medicare penalties.

Here's how the three Hawaii hospitals that will be penalized fared:

  • Maui Memorial Medical Center: 8
  • Pali Momi Medical Center: 7
  • Wahiawa General Hospital: 6.875

The top-performing hospital in Hawaii was Hilo Medical Center, which scored 1.5.

In a statement Friday, Pali Momi Medical Center said patient safety is its top priority, and that it has addressed issues that led to the low rating.

"The 2016 payment reduction is based on Medicare's assessment of hospital data for July 2012 through June 2014. Since then, Pali Momi has implemented modifications to our processes and procedures that have reduced our hospital-acquired condition rates," the statement said.

"These modifications include enhanced training for nurses, clinicians and staff, and the use of new infection control products."

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