A recent study found some shocking information about hospital errors, and who pays the costs for those errors. According to the study, people who are hospitalized because of complications spend, on average, four times as long in the hospital. It also found that private insurers are often charged, but Medicare, Medicaid and patients themselves often don’t pay directly for the increase expenses from hospital stays.
Although private insurers are generally the payers of these mistakes, people can sometimes still be asked to pay, and the study found that on average, the expenses paid to hospitals for a complication are $30,000 more than patients who don’t have complications. One thing that the study didn’t account for was the out-of-pocket expenses that patients have when their family visits or when they aren’t able to work because of their extended hospital stay.
Some people might be critical of the insurance companies that pay for the expenses related to these complications. They believe that if insurers stopped paying for substandard care, doctors and hospitals would make fewer errors. These errors might become less profitable for hospitals if insurance companies stop paying for care that is needed because of errors.
However, doctors and medical staff still need to be aware of when they aren’t feeling they can provide the care that patients deserve. Allowing doctors to work shorter shifts, and making sure they are properly supported and supervised throughout the patient’s care can help minimize errors. If someone is injured because of a medical error, an experienced New York City personal injury attorney can help them seek compensation.
Source: New York Times, “Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds,” Denise Grady, April 16, 2013