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SPRINGFIELD, MO-As all hospitals and health systems are keenly aware, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires them to reduce the number of patients readmitted into their facilities. Failure to reduce hospital readmissions can lead to serious financial penalties for what the federal government calls “above-average rates” of readmissions for certain “preventable” conditions covered by Medicare.

The new policy, dubbed the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, is overseen by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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