INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The federal government says 80 percent of Indiana's hospitals face penalties totaling $12 million for having too many patients who returned for care within a month of their discharge.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports a September report from the Centers from Medicare and Medicaid Services examined figures for patients who returned from July 2014 to July 2017.

Medicare payments at 66 Indiana hospitals will be docked a total of $12 million next year, an increase from $9 million in penalties three years ago. Only 17 Indiana hospitals weren't penalized.

The federal government says readmissions are often unnecessary and cost taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Officials say readmissions often indicate treatment that should've been prescribed during the first visit or treatment that wasn't adequately followed up.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.