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States Get Tool to Improve Quality in Medicaid

June 2, 2011

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final Affordable Care Act rule that will reduce or prohibit payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers for services that result from certain preventable healthcare acquired illnesses or injuries. The rule rewards providers who provide quality care to people in Medicaid leading to better care for patients and at lower costs.

The final rule builds on States’ successes and Medicare policies, which already reduce or prohibit hospital payments for preventable conditions. The new rule aligns Medicare and Medicaid payments, while giving states the flexibility to expand preventable conditions the program would no longer pay for.

“Today, we are partnering with states to give them the tools to improve the quality of care for patients and lower costs for taxpayers,” said CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick, MD. “These steps will encourage healthcare professionals and hospitals to reduce preventable infections, and eliminate serious medical errors. As we reduce the frequency of these conditions, we will improve care for patients and reduce costs at the same time.”

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