Medicare’s no-pay rule has little financial impact

My lede:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has estimated that rules that took effect in October 2008 and denied payment for “reasonably preventable” hospital-associated conditions would save the government $21 million and encourage patient safety improvement.

But the savings probably will be much lower, according to a study in the September/October Health Affairs.

The nonpayment rules are likely to cost hospitals about $2.7 million — $368 per facility — raising the question of whether the no-pay policy will achieve Medicare’s cost and safety objectives. Hospitals and physician organizations, including the American Medical Association, have objected to some of the conditions included in the no-pay list, saying prevention is not always possible.

The whole shebang.