Study: Hospitals “Profit Handsomely” From Surgical Errors
“It’s shocking, crazy and perverse that hospitals are being financially rewarded for harming patients, while the prize for hospitals that are working hard to improve patient safety and reduce surgical errors is losing money,” says Barry Rosenberg, MD.
I found the following article rather interesting:
For flawless surgery, the hospital netted a median profit of $18,900, compared to a profit of $49,400 when the operation went awry. Complications doubled the profit if the patient was covered by Medicare, and tripled the profit if the patient had private insurance.Widow Billed for Care That Killed Her Husband
His dad was hospitalized to treat pneumonia and within 36 hours, developed a hospital-acquired infection that lead to sepsis and a gruesome death five weeks later.
Then his mother was hit with the bill for what Goldhill calls “the service of killing my father”—$635,685.75.
“Had I booked Dad a room at the most expensive hotel in town for the five weeks of his illness, filled the room with a million dollars’ worth of hospital equipment leased for $15,000 a month, given him round-the-clock nursing care, and paid a physician to spend an hour a day with him (roughly 50 minutes more than at the hospital), it would total roughly $150,000,” Goldhill wrote for Bloomberg View.
Understandably, the grieving widow didn’t pay the bill, nor did the hospital try to collect, Goldhill reports. However, the hospital did receive a hefty fee from Medicare for its fatal care, he adds.
Medicare and some other insurers have taken measures to make errors unprofitable, such as refusing to pay for “never events” like operating on the wrong leg or leaving surgical instruments or sponges inside the patient.