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The Washington Post reports that the Affordable Care Act has cut hospital readmission rates from 19% (where it has remained for the past five years) to 17.8%.  
 

Jonathan Blum, a top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is scheduled to release the figures Thursday at a Senate Finance Committee hearing. In an interview, he argued that the drop — which has already kept tens of thousands of people out of the hospital — is largely the result of provisions in President Obama’s health-care law.

These provisions include new financial penalties that Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly and disabled, has begun imposing on hospitals with high readmission rates. They also include extra funding and incentives for hospitals and outpatient providers to do a better job of coordinating care for patients after they head home.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

The article reports that 2217 hospitals were fined the maximum fine of a 1% reduction in their Medicare payments due to their high readmission rates.  The article also describes the efforts made by some hospitals to reduce their readmission rates as a result of the penalties and incentives in the Affordable Care Act.  

Reducing the number of hospital readmissions is a way that the costs of Medicare can be reduced in a way that does not hurt patient care, and in fact actually helps Medicare patients.  

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