Hospitals asked to address readmissions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Hospitals across the nation are under new pressure not only to treat their patients, but to make sure they do not come back.

President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul is addressing the issue of unnecessary readmissions.

Hospitals that do not address the problem could face billions of dollars in fines.

Under healthcare reform, hospitals will pay penalties to Medicare if too many of their patients return to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged.

Medicare expects to collect about $280 million in penalties from what it considers to be avoidable readmissions.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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