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OIG: Hospital care fatal for some Medicare patients

USA Today, November 16, 2010
An estimated 15,000 Medicare patients die each month in part because of care they receive in the hospital, says a government study released today.

The study is the first of its kind aimed at understanding "adverse events" in hospitals — essentially, any medical care that causes harm to a patient, according to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.

Patients in the study, a nationally representative sample that focused on 780 Medicare patients discharged from hospitals in October 2008, suffered such problems as bed sores, infections and excessive bleeding from blood-thinning drugs, the report found. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality called the results "alarming."

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