COPD experts warn Medicare penalties will hurt vulnerable patients

Lungg disease experts say that new policies concerning hospital readmissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will penalize vulnerable patients.

Last week, the federal government announced fines for more than 2,600 hospitals because too many Medicare patients being treated for certain conditions are being readmitted within 30 days of being sent home.

An analysis by University of Michigan (U-M) lung disease experts, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, describes how hospitals that care for poor and minority patients will feel these penalties more deeply.

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