AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some Austin-area hospitals are facing fines for their readmission rates in an annual punishment program that was enacted in 2012 as part of Medicare’s hospital payment program.

It’s called the Hospital Readmission Reduction act, which was created by the Affordable Care Act. According to Kaiser Health News (KHN), it evaluates the frequency that Medicare patients at most hospitals return within 30 days and lowers future payments to hospitals that had higher than expected return rates.

Hospitals can lose up to 3% of each Medicare payment per year. None of the Central Texas hospitals’ penalties were that high.

The federal government also eased its annual punishments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to KHN, which published a list of the 2023 penalties along with past data.

Here’s a list of Central Texas hospitals being penalized, and the percentage of Medicare payments they’ll lose:

  • Ascension Seton Hays, Kyle: 0.16%
  • Ascension Seton Medical Center, Austin: 0.1%
  • Ascension Seton Northwest, Austin: 0.24%
  • Ascension Seton Williamson, Round Rock: 0.18%
  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Round Rock: 0.22%
  • Cedar Park Regional Medical Center: 0.14%
  • Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, Austin: 0.02%
  • North Austin Medical Center, Austin: 0.12%
  • Round Rock Medical Center, Round Rock: 0.01%
  • St. David’s Medical Center, Austin: 0.53%
  • St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, Austin: 0.25%

NBCDFW reported that three Three North Texas Hospitals must pay the highest 3% Medicare penalty rate.

2,273 hospitals were penalized, the fewest since the fiscal year that ended in September 2014, a KHN analysis found.