The federal government is penalizing 13 hospitals in South Carolina for avoidable mistakes that it says harm Medicare patients.
The Charleston Post and Courier reports the hospitals will lose 1 percent of their Medicare reimbursements this current fiscal year as a result of low quality scores. More than 700 hospitals were assessed the penalty across the U.S.
A federal report dings hospitals for infections patients acquired during or as a result of their hospital visits, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central-line bloodstream infections and complications from surgery, such as blood clots or wounds that split open.
Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia and Kershaw Health in Camden were tied for the lowest overall score. Roper St. Francis in Mount Pleasant and McLeod Loris Seacoast in Little River had the best overall scores (although Roper was not graded in all categories).
South Carolina Hospital Association Senior Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety Rick Foster told the paper that the data could be misleading because it only covers Medicare patients. Foster said the report disproportionately impacts those hospitals such as Palmetto Health Richland which take on more complicated surgeries and operations than smaller hospitals.
The new report comes as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services begins relying more on health quality factors as it reimburses hospitals for Medicare patients. Historically, the program has repaid hospitals on a fee-for-service rate.
Jay Harper contributed to this report