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Hospitals for poor may struggle further under healthcare reform

U.S.News & World Report, July 18, 2012

Under healthcare reform, the federal government punishes hospitals that perform poorly on a variety of measures by not giving them some Medicare payments. The researchers studied 3,096 hospitals and examined answers that patients gave to surveys about their experiences at the hospitals. The safety-net hospitals—769 of the total—were slightly less likely than other hospitals to be in urban areas (many are in rural parts of the country), much more likely to serve Medicaid patients and more likely to have fewer nurses per patient. The safety-net hospitals had the lowest overall rating among patients and ranked a bit lower in the patient perception of things such as communication with medical staff and management of their condition.