A hope to reduce medical errors

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By: Erin Floro

Medicare will stop paying for medical errors this Wednesday. Even if it is the doctors fault, you will be billed. Medicare is the largest insurer in the country and their decision has made other insurers follow the same guideline.

These insurers will not pay for as many as 28 "never events." They are called that because they are never supposed to happen. If a patient gets an infection after surgery, or gets bed sores, or needs a second operation because the first one wasn't done properly, Medicare will not pay for the treatment.

This affects alot of people, there are over 12.5 million people annually that are covered by Medicare.

Medicare is reducing payments to hospitals with high readmission rates and they grant bonuses to doctors that report quality measures. Nurses have been trained and are more careful with medications and to prevent falls from happening. Hospitals strongly enforced washing hands, that even cut as many people from getting sick again. Some changes have been technological, like an electric prescribing machine which reduced medication mistakes.

Hospitals are complying with the rule to report medical errors. Doctors and nurses are focusing on avoiding accidents. By Medicare doing this, they want to encourage hospitals to eventually have zero medical errors.


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