Bonuses, penalties for Minn. hospitals under fed. health care program

Some Minnesota hospitals will receive slightly less Medicare money while others will get bonuses, under provisions of the federal health care overhaul.

The penalties are part of the Affordable Care Act's measures designed to rein in Medicare costs by penalizing or rewarding hospitals based on the quality of patient care and patient experience. A similar program penalizes centers where patients had to be readmitted to a hospital soon after discharge.

According to an analysis by Kaiser Health News, no Minnesota hospital drew the highest penalty of 1 percent of their Medicare funds, but Sanford Medical Center in Worthington drew the highest penalty in Minnesota at 0.85 percent of its Medicare funding. Sanford said in a statement that the penalty amounts to less than $10,000 and that "improvement systems are already in place... and expect the next report to show improvement."

The Minnesota hospital that fared the best in the Medicare program — Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing — will receive a bonus of 0.55 percent of its Medicare funding.

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