764 hospitals were recently penalized by Medicare for having too many patient infections and potentially avoidable medical complications.  As a result, they will see their Medicare payments reduced one percent over the next year – a standard penalty under the agency’s Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program.

Thirty-eight of those hospitals cited for this problem, however, were awarded five stars – the highest rating – on Medicare’s Care Compare web site.  Another 134 penalized hospitals received four-star ratings.

Why the seeming contradiction?  Kaiser Health News explores this question, and offers some answers, in the article “Health Care Paradox:  Medicare Penalizes Dozens of Hospitals It Also Gives Five Stars.”