Better Patient Care at High-Quality Hospitals May Save Medicare Money and Bolster Episode-Based Payment Models

Researchers looked at how much Medicare pays for five major surgical procedures, from the time patients are admitted to the hospital through  90 days after discharge. Patients who had their surgeries at high quality hospitals—that is, those with low mortality rates and high patient satisfaction scores—were found to cost Medicare less than patients at low-quality hospitals. The majority of the savings achieved can be attributed to lower use of skilled nursing facilities and other postacute care services.