Hospitals face penalties for infection rates

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Four Alaska hospitals could lose hundreds of thousands in Medicare reimbursement because of high patient rates of infection and complications.

Preliminary data analyzed by Kaiser Health News indicates Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Anchorage's Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center are in the lowest-performing 25 percent of hospitals from July 2012 to June 2013.

The Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/1lVbVuF) reports final numbers for 2013 are expected by fall.

The federal Affordable Health Care Act created the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, which can penalize a quarter of the nation's lowest performing hospitals because of quality deficits.

Quality measurements review safety issues that can be avoided such as falls or bloodstream infections in patients with catheters.

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Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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