Hospital Errors, Like Botched Surgery, Mean More Money For The Hospital
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) August 12, 2013 - A report released in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows hospitals make more money when they make mistakes.
“The chilling conclusion of a recent report, written by several well known and respected doctors, is that when something goes wrong, like surgeons operating on the wrong person or body part, the hospital makes more money. How bizarre, that in making a horrific mistake, a medical institution may profit in two ways: billing the patient for the extra required care and billing the insurance company for surgical complications,” commented Michael Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas.
Would the hospital necessarily keep the full total of the extra amounts billed should the patient decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages? It is safe to say that even though they may be sued and the plaintiff wins, there would still be funds left over. Cumulatively, if a hospital did a number of wrong patient, wrong body part surgeries, or was sued for never events, the left over money would still be a profit for the hospital. The surgeries with complications and surgeries without complications would more or less balance the budget sheet.
The study examined 34,256 surgical patients and revealed that private insurers paid $55,593 for surgical complications, but only paid $16,936 if everything went well. The discrepancy in the payments demonstrates that making a mistake results in a profit to the hospital of at least $39,017. If a patient had government insurance, such as Medicare, hospitals were paid $1,880 for complication-free surgery. On the other hand, they reimbursed at the rate of $3,629 for complications.
“Hospitals do not intentionally make mistakes to boost their financial bottom line. However, it is an unexpected result of mistakes made by medical teams in the O.R.” said Smith. When mistakes are made, patients need to stay in care longer. The longer they are in hospital, the higher their bills ---- a profit for the hospital and a profit made at the expense of the hapless patient who trusted their doctor to do right by them. “Since everyone else, but the hospital, is paying for hospital errors, there is no particular incentive to lower health care costs or even improve patient security.”
Patients who have been victims of hospital errors need to discuss their situation with a competent medical malpractice lawyer with experience handling hospital errors.
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