Medicare's 'No-Pay' HAI Policy Reshifts Hospital Priorities

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , May 3, 2012

The OIG report estimated that hospital care associated with events resulting in adverse and temporary harm cost Medicare an estimated $324 million in one month, October of 2008. Of those events, the OIG estimates, 44% are preventable.

"Costs associated with preventable events accounted for an estimated $119 million of the $324 million additional cost, equating to 1.3 percent of the $9.2 billion Medicare inpatient expenditures for the month or about $1.8 billion annually," the OIG report said.

Of all such never events, those related to medication accounted for 31%; those related to ongoing patient care, 28%; events related to surgery or other procedures, 26%, and events related to infections 15%.

 


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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