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ME hospitals rank well, but a dozen face Medicare penalties for readmissions

Bangor Daily News, August 9, 2013
A dozen Maine hospitals face Medicare penalties in round two of the federal government's push to lower the number of patients who wind up back in the hospital within a month of being discharged. Compared to other states, Maine's hospitals ranked near the top, at seventh nationally by the amount of the average penalty. Nationally, Medicare will impose $227 million in fines on 2,225 hospitals by reducing their payments for a year starting on Oct. 1, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News. The analysis describes the penalty program, which launched in October 2012 under the Affordable Care Act, as among the toughest of Medicare's efforts to pay hospitals for the quality of care they deliver rather than the number of patients they treat.