San Diego County hospitals fined over avoidable infections and c - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego County hospitals fined over avoidable infections and complications

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Six hospitals in San Diego County will receive a 1 percent lower payment from Medicare in this federal fiscal year because of high rates of potentially avoidable infections and complications, Kaiser Health News reported Thursday.

The types of complications involve blood clots, bed sores and falls.

This is the second year of the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, which was mandated by federal law to reduce patient injuries.

San Diego-area medical facilities on the list are Sharp Coronado, Tri- City, UCSD and Scripps Encinitas, Green and Mercy hospitals. All but Tri-City were also penalized last year.

Overall, 758 hospitals across the U.S. will face the payment reduction, totaling an estimated $364 million. That's up from a little over 400 medical facilities last year.

The penalties were based on the government's assessment of the frequency of infections over the last two years in patients with lines inserted into veins, urinary catheters and incisions from colon surgeries and hysterectomies. The infection rates comprise 75 percent of Medicare's evaluation.

The remainder includes things like surgical tears, collapsed lungs, broken hips and reopened wounds.

The law exempts hospitals that serve veterans and children, and those that are the only healthcare providers in a particular area.

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