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Surgical errors cost almost $1.5 billion a year

HealthDay/Washington Post, July 29, 2008
Preventing medical errors that occur during or after surgery could save almost $1.5 billion a year, according to a study by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The researchers analyzed data on more than 161,000 patients in employer-based health plans who underwent surgery between 2001 and 2002. The study found that insurers paid an additional $28,218 and an additional $19,480 for each surgery patient who suffered acute respiratory failure or post-operative infections, respectively, compared to patients who didn't suffer those complications.