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Feds withhold 1 percent of payments from 4 Maine hospitals

March 9, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Four Maine hospitals are receiving federal penalties for past high rates of “hospital-acquired” conditions, which include patients sickened by an infection.

The Portland Press Herald reports the federal penalties are being assessed now but reflect the 2015-2017 time period.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services withheld 1 percent of Medicare payments in the current fiscal year ending in mid-2019 to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, York Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor and Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle.

Former President Obama’s signature health law set up the penalties to give hospitals financial incentives to limit infections and preventable readmissions.

A spokesman said CMMC has improved safety and hasn’t seen a “central-line acquired bloodstream infection” over the past year.

Federal data suggest hospital-acquired conditions are declining overall.

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