Hospital Errors: Who Pays?
The Indianapolis Star reports that Medicare, the largest single payer of medical bills in the US, is scrutinizing conditions caused by medical error and considering not paying for them. This ought to shake up the health care industry, because where Medicare goes, commercial insurance providers like Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United HealthCare tend to follow. Medicare is considering not paying for these hospital acquired problems:
- air embolism
- objects left in the body after surgery
- bed sores
- wrong surgery
- catheter associated infections (either urinary or vascular)
- transfusion reactions from being given the wrong blood type
- hospital acquired infections
- Those involved in the above had a 25% chance of dying. Almost 250,000 preventable deaths were reported
- Excess costs of these "incidents"? $8.6 billion (Medicare patients 2003-2005)
- Greatest increases? Post-op sepsis, post-op respiratory failure, bed sores
Be an informed health care consumer. Find out the HealthGrade of your facility and doctor. Ask questions. Be informed. It's your body. It's your life.
Thank you homernoh for use of photo, Hospital sunset (Phoenix AZ).
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