Medicare publishes rates that purport to show how often individual surgery centers send patients to the hospital. But state data and EMS reports reveal that some centers reporting zero transfers to Medicare actually did send patients to hospitals. It’s unclear how many patient transfers actually occurred due to a Medicare rule that allows centers to report data only on 50 percent or more of Medicare patients.
In 2015, the center reported 18 transfers to the state; the prior year, it reported 27. The center administrator said he “put in place corrective measures” and “provided [Medicare] with the corrected information.”
During an April 2015 Medicare inspection, the facility presented the inspector with a list of 19 transfers from April 2014 to February 2015. The center administrator said some patients were not reported because Medicare only requires reports on 50 percent or more of Medicare patient’s cases.
In 2015, the center reported 25 transfers to the state. The facility administrator said the reports to the state reflect all patients, while Medicare only seeks reports on its patients.
In 2015, emergency medical service records show 14 patients were transported to a hospital. A spokesman for HCA Healthcare said some transfers were not required to be reported to Medicare.
In 2014, the center reported 13 transfers to the state. A spokesman for HCA Healthcare said some transfers were not required to be reported to Medicare.
In 2015, the center sent the state reports about eight patients who were transferred to a hospital. The center administrator said “we have always been compliant with reporting requirements” and cited a state health official who was not aware of the federal reporting program.