Statement Regarding CMS Cuts to Marin General Hospital Reimbursements

GREENBRAE, CA — Recently, it was announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will penalize Marin General Hospital and two other Marin County hospitals for their performance in a program designed to reduce hospital-acquired patient illnesses and injuries. The Marin General Hospitalpenalty involved a reduction in CMS reimbursements of approximately 1.67%.

The hospital takes this very seriously; it is our aim to eliminate errors that contribute to any patient injuries and illnesses, and it’s clear that we have work to do. Despite the fact that our outcomes have steadily and significantly improved both before and after implementation of our Operation Safety program in 2014, the CMS study identified a cluster of infections that occurred in a specific and limited period of time. (In the time period immediately before that, we had zero errors.) We have investigated this cluster, taken steps to eliminate the possibility of recurrence, and tried to apply what we’ve learned throughout our operations. 

Ironically, we recently were honored by the LeapFrog Group with an “A” grade for patient safety, received the 2015 “Distinguished Hospital” award from Healthgrades and were named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission in December, 2014. These awards recognize our staff’s hard work and focus on quality, which have resulted in measurable quality improvements.  What the CMS action does is remind us that no matter how far we’ve come, there is always room for improvement, and we must remain dedicated to achieving it.
The CMS penalty is particularly painful because it takes away money that could be used for improved performance. But Marin General Hospitalis nonetheless firmly committed to making patient safety our single highest priority, and will do whatever it takes to eliminate factors that contribute to hospital-acquired infections and illnesses.

We do not believe that this CMS data reflects the overall quality of patient care at Marin General Hospital.  It is worth noting that of the five conditions CMS examined at readmissions, Marin General Hospitalwas above the performance benchmark in all but one.
 
Dr. Joel Sklar
Chief Medical Officer
Marin General Hospital

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