"The lack of social services bodes ill for rural hospitals as the 'Hospital Re-admissions Reduction Rate' program created by the Affordable Care Act kicks in," Guydish writes. "The program punishes hospitals that have high readmission rates by reducing Medicare reimbursement."
Brock Slabach, senior vice president of the National Rural Health Association, said more than 2,000 hospitals are expected to be hurt by the re-admissions program in 2015, Guydish writes. Slabach told him, “When a patient is discharged in a rural setting there is not a network of services for post-acute care and often patients will come back to hospitals because there were no other services to go to.” Possible solutions include an increase of physician assistants and nurse practitioners. (Read more)