HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Medicare is penalizing more than 700 hospitals across the United States for how often they send patients home without first causing additional complications.
The hospitals were scored on data for hospital-acquired conditions, such as infections from central lines and catheters as well as other possible complications that could be prevented with higher quality procedures.
On a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the worst score, McLeod Loris Seacoast Hospital received one of the lowest HAC scores in the state at 3.1.
"We're very happy and very pleased and it validates the effort we put into it," said Dr. John Charles, the hospital's chief medical officer. "It also tells us that we're doing the right thing, we better keep doing it," Dr. Charles said.
Grand Strand Regional Medical Center scored 4.6. Conway Medical Center received a score of 7.2.
A score higher than seven requires a penalty from Medicare, which is a 1% decrease in Medicare reimbursements for the 2015 fiscal year.
"Hospitals have a choice. They can either get the full price from Medicare or they can spend less time, money and resources on quality and they can get less," Dr. Charles said.
Dr. Charles said this kind of program will help increase patient safety across the country.
"We are now taking very definitive, scientific, evidence-based steps to make sure that we do no harm, that we don't harm the patient, and that's a pretty doggone important piece of quality," he added.