The Downside of "Obamacare" Sees Its Begining
Obamacare Fines Start For Hospitals That Readmit Sick Patients
by Tony Lee 7 Oct 2012 - Washington Post
Hospitals who re-admit patients within 30 days after they were discharged will now have to, under an Obamacare provision, pay fines as of October 1, 2012, which could force hospitals to slash programs that help the elderly, the poor, and the chronically ill.
According to a study, "about two-thirds of the hospitals serving Medicare patients, or some 2,200 facilities, will be hit with penalties averaging around $125,000 per facility this coming year."
This provision was inserted into Obamacare as a cost-cutting measure, but it will force hospitals to give the poor, elderly, and chronically ill substandard care.
In addition, critics also note that "large teaching hospitals that are affiliated with universities" could be negatively impacted the most because these hospitals are often on the front lines in dealing with the elderly and the poor in addition to people who have mysterious illnesses who constantly need to be re-admitted to the hospital for urgent care.
As the Examiner notes:
"Some observers believe that the new provision will place an enormous amount of added pressure on these populations, given that patients cannot be certain that their treatment will be up to par in the event of the need for readmission to the hospital after discharge. And hospitals that are already feeling the squeeze financially due to cutbacks in reimbursements from the government may be forced to limit the level of care given during readmission, resulting in patients being discharged long before they are ready."
This is yet another reason why a plurality of Americans want Obamacare to be repealed before it it is too late, as more of such provisions will gradually be implemented.