Heart Attack Patient Costs Skyrocket Beyond 30 Days
Likosky says that the research period did not extend beyond 2008, when new payment policies from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services attempted to reign in ambulatory spending for imaging, and benefits for hospice care were limited.
In an accompanying commentary, Ashish Jha, MD, professor of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health, noted that "the additional spending went toward paying for more skilled nursing facilities, physician's visits, home health care, and durable medical equipment. Although readmission rates in the late period remained stable, the spending per readmission went up—with little evidence that patients benefited."
Jha also noted that not only are these post-acute episode services expensive to Medicare "but to the beneficiaries as well," prompting them to incur "substantial out-of-pocket costs."
Likosky's report, Jha wrote, "should be a wake-up call for federal policy makers" to focus on cost reductions beyond 30 days, and is "a timely reminder of the importance of research and data for policy making."
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
- MU Compliance Announcement Sparks Concern, Confusion
- New G-Codes to Pay Doctors for Broad Array of Non-Face-to-Face Care
- Scary Financial Challenges for 2014
- Telehealth Improves Patient Care in ICUs
- CMS Sets 2014 Pay Rates for Hospital Outpatient and Physician Services
- 1 in 5 CT Screenings for Lung Cancer Results in Overdiagnosis
- LifePoint Bolsters Presence in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
- MGMA Urges 'End-to-End' ICD-10 Testing
- States Rejecting Medicaid Expansion Forgo Billions in Federal Funds
- Douglas Hawthorne—A Chance to Do Something Big