Nine Oregon Hospitals Rewarded for Quality Care

Medicare’s bonuses top out at 0.39%, while most hospitals receive penalties instead
Oregon’s hospital leaders often complain that Medicare doesn’t pay enough to cover their costs. But nine hospitals in the state are about to start receiving more money for treating Medicare patients, as a reward for providing high-quality care and reducing hospital readmissions.
The additional funds they’ll receive are not likely to plug any gaping budget gaps. Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, a for-profit hospital, will get the biggest Medicare bonus in Oregon, a 0.39 percent boost. But that extra payment – as well as equally tiny penalties levied against two thirds of the state’s hospitals – carries symbolic heft as federal officials aim to reward doctors and hospitals that provide better care.
The Medicare rankings reward hospitals that reduce readmissions, reduce death rates, fare well on patient surveys, and adhere to clinical guidelines (such as selecting the correct antibiotics when treating pneumonia, or offering discharge instructions to heart failure patients who leave the hospital). This is Medicare’s second year assessing hospitals under these metrics, and this time around penalties are growing stiffer, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the data.
The nine Oregon hospitals that are receiving a Medicare bonus in 2014 are:
  • Willamette Valley Medical Center, 0.39 percent.
  • McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, 0.33 percent.
  • Mercy Medical Center, 0.28 percent.
  • Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, 0.16 percent.
  • St Alphonsus Medical Center - Ontario, 0.1 percent.
  • Salem Hospital, 0.07 percent.
  • Asante Three Rivers Medical Center, 0.06 percent.
  • Samaritan Albany General Hospital, 0.05 percent.
  • Providence Portland Medical Center, 0.01 percent.
Dr. Patrick Conway, Medicare’s chief medical officer, told Kaiser Health News that most hospitals in the U.S. have improved since the quality-linked reimbursement program began a year ago. “The program is driving what we want in healthcare.”
But Medicare pays Oregon hospitals less than 90 cents for each dollar spent caring for its patients, according to an analysis by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. Bonuses of less than 1 percent will not come close to bridging that gap.
Meanwhile, two thirds of Oregon hospitals will actually be paid less in 2014, because they failed to meet federal standards – though the penalties are so small that the punishment won’t sting for most. On average, the state’s 21 penalized hospitals will see Medicare payments drop 0.34 percent next year. Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay will receive the harshest penalty, a 1.1 percent reduction in Medicare payments. 
The Oregon hospitals being penalized by Medicare in 2014 are:
Bay Area Hospital, with payments going down 1.11  percent.
  • Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, down 0.59  percent.
  • Silverton Hospital, down 0.57  percent.
  • Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, down 0.45  percent.
  • Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, down 0.43  percent.
  • Sacred Heart Medical Center - Riverbend, down 0.41  percent.
  • St Charles Medical Center - Bend, down 0.40  percent.
  • Tuality Community Hospital, down 0.40  percent.
  • Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, down 0.36  percent.
  • St Charles Medical Center - Redmond, down 0.35  percent.
  • Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, down 0.34  percent.
  • OHSU Hospital And Clinics, down 0.31  percent.
  • Mid-Columbia Medical Center, down 0.28  percent.
  • Providence Newberg Medical Center, down 0.23  percent.
  • Sky Lakes Medical Center, down 0.21  percent.
  • Providence St Vincent Medical Center, down 0.20  percent.
  • Adventist Medical Center, down 0.18  percent.
  • Santiam Memorial Hospital, down 0.16  percent.
  • Providence Medford Medical Center, down 0.16  percent.
  • Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, down 0.09  percent.
  • Providence Milwaukie Hospital, down 0.01  percent.
Three Oregon hospitals will neither be penalized nor receive bonuses in 2014: Sacred Heart University District in Eugene, Ashland Community Hospital and Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center.
Oregon ranks No. 17 in the country for quality of hospitals, according to a Lund Report analysis of the Medicare data. About 29 percent of the state’s hospitals are getting a Medicare bonus in 2014, 68 percent will be penalized, and 3 percent will see no change.
Nationwide, about 23 percent of hospitals will receive more from Medicare next year, 71 percent will be penalized, and 6 percent will see no change. Washington, D.C., and North Dakota ranked worst in the country, with all hospitals in both of those jurisdictions facing Medicare payment penalties. Maine outshone the rest of the country, with 70 percent of hospitals there receiving Medicare bonuses. New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin are the only other states with more than half of hospitals receiving bonuses.
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