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San Antonio Hospitals Hit with Federal Penalties for Patient Complications

Five San Antonio hospitals are being penalized by federal regulators for high rates of what they have deemed to be preventable complications, including infections, blood clots after surgery, sepsis, bedsores, and hip fractures after falls. Under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the hospitals’ Medicare payments will be reduced by 1 percent this year. Further, up to 3 percent of payments can be withheld by CMS for hospitals that have high readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure, bypass surgery, pneumonia, hip and knee replacements, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. According to regulators, readmissions are expensive and can increase a patient’s chances of infection. Additionally, federal officials claim readmission rates can be indicative of whether a hospital is doing a good job of preventing complications, providing clear discharge instructions to patients, and safely discharging them.

According to CMS, over 750 hospitals rank in the bottom quarter of hospitals for high rates of complications under the pay-for-performance program. According to a Kaiser Health News analysis, under the pay-for-performance program, which started six years ago, more than 35 percent of the nation’s hospitals have been penalized for at least one year.

When someone is injured or dies due to a health care provider’s negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover.

Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.

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