The AHA says that the measures that gauge whether a hospital has high rates of readmissions are unreliable "for a majority of hospitals. This is especially important to consider in light of the penalties that are at stake. In our analysis of the inpatient PPS impact file, some hospitals may be penalized by almost $3 million in FY 2013. Penalizing hospitals while failing to guarantee that these measures have even a moderate rate of reliability is completely inappropriate."
The AHA also wants CMS to allow hospitals to indicate designate during the discharge process which admissions would include a planned readmission.
The trade organization also wants CMS to remove admissions and readmissions for beneficiaries who died in the hospital, were transferred to another hospital, were discharged against medical advice and those patients who received percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG).
Much of the AHA's argument was devoted to its contention that the proposed federal rule is biased against hospitals that serve the poor and that CMS should install some adjustment mechanism to correct for that disadvantage.