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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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