12 Minnesota hospitals face Medicare penalties

Penalized for having high rate of patients with infections

Federal data released this week shows a dozen Minnesota hospitals face penalties from the Medicare program for having a high rate of patients with infections, bed sores or other complications that could be prevented.

With 12 of 50 hospitals making the list, that means Minnesota hospitals are penalized at a rate of 24 percent — only slightly better than the national average.

Hospital leaders have stepped up efforts to reduce infection and complication rates.

Minnesota Hospital Association Vice President Mark Sonneborn tells the Star Tribune that hospital officials had hoped for a better performance.

Sonneborn said the state’s recent attention to hospital-acquired conditions might mean that Minnesota hospitals are more apt to report them. But, he says hospitals still need to do better.