Emanuel Medical Center does not contest that it’s the most heavily penalized hospital in California under quality improvement policies in the Affordable Care Act.
The church that formerly owned the Turlock hospital sought a buyer because of economic realities and the challenge of avoiding penalties for repeated patient admissions. Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. closed a deal to acquire the former independent hospital Aug. 1. Tenet has 80 hospitals in 14 states, including Doctors Medical Center of Modesto and Doctors Hospital of Manteca.
The Medicare penalties were based on Emanuel’s performance in 2013 and earlier.
In a statement Friday, Emanuel said its readmission and hospital-acquired infection rates showed marked improvement in the more recent Medicare data for 2013 and 2014. Compared with the second quarter of 2012, its most current numbers showed a 20 percent reduction in patients readmitted for heart failure. readmissions were down 14 percent among patients who had suffered from pneumonia, the hospital said.
Emanuel claimed the next release of data should show it has had no central-line associated bloodstream infections since 2013.
According to the statement, the hospital has adopted quality programs that are part of Tenet’s clinical “best practices.” Nurses remove or replace a patient’s catheter within a shorter period of time and work with doctors on new procedures, case review and documentation.
To cut down on readmissions, a project team prepares patients for discharge by making an appointment with a primary care doctor and makes follow-up calls after they are discharged. In addition, the hospital makes sure patients understand their medication instructions before they leave.
“Emanuel Medical Center continues to work toward its goal of zero preventable infections and readmissions through its continued focus on improving quality and patient care,” the statement said.