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Biz ‘Bites:’ Idaho hospitals escape Medicare penalties

Idaho hospitals escape Medicare penalties

photo of patient care room at power county hospital district

A patient care room at Power County Hospital District. Photo courtesy of Power County Hospital District

No Idaho hospitals will be saddled with a Medicare penalty for the 2022 federal fiscal year for Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reductions Program (HACRP). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 764 hospitals nationwide would be subject to AHCRP penalties on Feb. 2.

The HACRP began in October 2014. The program evaluates hospitals based on their rates of several avoidable conditions that patients can acquire during a hospital stay, including infections, bed sores, blood clots, and falls. Every year, hospitals in the lowest-performing 25% are penalized by losing 1% of their Medicare payments. As of 2021, the program has penalized 1,978 hospitals at least once since the program was established.

Legislation exempts the nation’s over-1,000 critical access hospitals as well as certain specialized hospitals serving children, psychiatric patients, and veterans. All of Idaho’s rural hospitals of 25-beds or less fall under this exemption as well as Idaho’s three state hospitals and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boise.

All of Idaho’s large acute care hospitals are subject to the HACRP. None of the 16 hospitals in the state that were evaluated by the HACRP was penalized. Under Medicare’s other penalty program for excess readmissions, CMS has levied payment penalties on nine of Idaho’s hospitals for the 2022 fiscal year.

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