Twenty hospitals in the Kansas City area will be penalized by Medicare starting Oct. 1 for excessive readmissions, although eight of them will be hit with lower fines than in Medicare’s previous round of penalties.
Saint Luke’s East Hospital in Lee’s Summit will get hit with the biggest fine, 2.08 percent of its Medicare reimbursements, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News of data released this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran are leading a congressional effort to delay enforcement of Medicare regulations requiring physician supervision of outpatient treatments like chemotherapy and intravenous infusions.
The rules are intended to improve patient safety. But Jenkins, Moran and several advocacy groups, including the Kansas Hospital Association, say they would burden rural providers without benefiting patients.
If you check into the University of Kansas Hospital, you might be charged more than $115,000. But if you go to Olathe Medical Center just 22 miles down the road, you’re apt to be billed just over $50,000.
Coping with renal failure? At Truman Medical Center, the bill is likely to add up to more than $14,000. But at Research Medical Center, a mere six miles distant, it’s more likely to come to $48,000.