An Obamacare program awarded hospitals thousands of dollars in bonuses even if they had low-quality scores, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.
The Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program, which was created by Obamacare, was designed to incentivize participating hospitals to increase efficiency and quality.
Even though the program's purpose is to reward hospitals that offer high-quality care at a lower cost, the auditors found that hospitals with low quality scores but high efficiency scores still received bonuses.
In fiscal year 2017, there were 345 hospitals that received a bonus with quality scores below the median. Roughly 20 percent of hospitals that received a bonus had a quality score below the median from 2015 through 2017.
"While a majority of all hospitals received a bonus or a penalty of less than 0.5 percent each year, the percentage of hospitals receiving a bonus greater than 0.5 percent increased from 4 percent to 29 percent from fiscal year 2013 to 2017," the report states.
According to the report, the median bonus awarded to all hospitals in fiscal year 2017 was $67,511.90. This has more than doubled since 2013 when the median bonus was $30,352.61.