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The future is here—quality measures now have teeth. Increasingly used as a measure of surgical quality, hospital readmissions have now been translated into financial penalties for hospitals. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program contained within the Affordable Care Act went into effect in October 2012, penalizing hospitals up to 3% of their Medicare payments over the next 3 years.1 This policy is expected to expand to surgical diagnoses by 2015.
Girotti ME, Shih T, Dimick JB. Health Policy UpdateRethinking Hospital Readmission as a Surgical Quality Measure. JAMA Surg. 2014;149(8):757-758. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.163