New Health Policy Brief: Medicare’s Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program

(By -Lucy Larner,

A new policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) addresses Medicare’s Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. When a patient goes to the hospital to receive care for one condition but then develops another, the second is considered a hospital-acquired condition (HAC).

In 2010 there were some 4.8 million HACs among US adult patients out of 32.8 million discharges. Since HACs are preventable and can lead to higher spending on health care, Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have instituted several programs in the past two decades to lower the frequency of HACs. The most recent, which took effect on October 1, 2014, penalizes hospitals showing the highest frequency of HACs with a 1 percent reduction in their Medicare payments. Read more…


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