Health Information Management

News: Medicare's HAC policy may not save much money

CDI Strategies, September 17, 2009

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For a program that spends $400 billion annually saving one or two million dollars seems like a pittance. But that’s the amount California researchers say Medicare saves by not paying for hospital-acquired conditions (HAC), according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article.

The researchers studied discharge data from California Medicare beneficiaries in 2006, looking for six particular HAC conditions, WSJ reported. Out of the total 767,995 cases reviewed 828 cases included those conditions, and 26 of those would have been subject to lower payments from CMS.

CMS officials agreed that savings may be small but in responding to the study, originally published in the journal Health Affairs, the agency said the study was limited.

There are eight HACs that take effect on October 1, 2009. Read more about them on the ACDIS Blog.

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