rivvu lights 120815 2The entrance to Riverview Medical Center as seen earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center was ranked among the worst hospitals in the nation at preventing illnesses and injuries in their facilities, according to a government report issued last week.

As a result, Riverview and three other Monmouth and Ocean county hospitals will lose one percent of their Medicare reimbursements for the fiscal year that started in October under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The program evaluated 3,308 hospitals based on how well they prevent hospital-acquired conditions, including bloodstream infections in patients with central lines; urinary-tract infections for catheterized patients; surgical-site infections; and a composite score of eight quality measures, such as pressure ulcers and sepsis, according to Modern Healthcare, an industry news source,

The law requires penalties for hospitals that rank in the bottom 25 percent.

According to Modern Healthcare, 758 hospitals nationwide will have their reimbursements trimmed. More than half were repeat offenders, having been cited last year, in the first year of the program; Riverview was not among the repeaters, according toe Modern Healthcare.

The Asbury Park Press reported Saturday that four Shore area hospitals were cited, including three owned by Wall Township-based Meridian Health, which owns Riverview as well as two other hospitals cited — Ocean Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center.

Meridian sent the Press this statement:

“We recognize that a single report alone does not tell the complex story of what goes on within a hospital. There are other reports that reflect the positive outcomes and continuous improvement that is happening throughout the health care industry.

“We believe that providing reliable and measurable patient safety and clinical quality is a relentless journey and want there to be a consistent expectation of safety and quality across all of our facilities. Meridian welcomes the additional focus that measuring and reporting brings to our efforts as we remain committed to transparency and doing the right thing for our patients.”