Report Debunks the Myths of Medical Malpractice Litigation and Health Care Costs and Shows that Most Compensated Injuries are Extremely Serious

If you spend an hour reading this report, chances are that five to 11 Americans will die from preventable medical errors by the time you finish. Chances also are better than 50-50 that not a single malpractice payment will be made, or medical malpractice litigations pursued, as a result of any of these avoidable deaths. Policy makers intent on reducing the legal liability of our health care system should address the crisis that experts acknowledge the shocking prevalence of medical errors instead of falling prey to the special interests’ fiction that lawsuits are at the root of the problem. So … Read the rest

Inadequate Patient Discharge Instructions and Intervention Resulting in Rehospitalization: Prevalent, Costly and Sometimes Malpractice

Studies have found that when patients leave the hospital without clear understanding of their diagnoses, medication instructions, or need for primary care follow-up, chances are that they will wind up back in the emergency department, and many will be readmitted. Questions are being asked within the medical community whether the standards of care relating to hospitals discharge instructions and follow-up are in fact inadequate and costly to the system by resulting in unnecessary re-hospitalizations.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 2, 2009) found that Medicare patients discharged from a hospital are frequently readmitted within a … Read the rest

Medicare Proposes Adding to Its List of Hospital-Acquired Conditions For Which It Will Not Pay the Extra Costs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to add an additional nine categories to its initial list of 8 preventable conditions that could reasonably have been avoided. that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating when acquired in the hospital.

In a statement dated April 14, 2008, CMS proposed to add the following to its list of preventable conditions that it will not pay for: Surgical site infections following certain elective procedures: Legionnaire’s disease; Extreme blood sugar derangement; Iatrogenic pneumothorax or collapsed lungs; Delirium; Ventilator-associated pneumonia; Deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism; Staphylococcus aureus … Read the rest

Technology Being Introduced to Cut Risk of Surgical Sponges Being Left in Patients

Last month’s $10 million settlement of a suit brought by a woman who underwent surgery for diverticulitis of the colon wherein a surgical sponge was left behind is a reminder of how frequent this complication occurs and of how potentially dangerous it can be.

A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that sponges and other foreign objects were left behind after abdominal surgeries at a rate of 1 for every 1,000 to 1,500 such operations. Several medical-products companies say sponges are the most common foreign objects left behind in surgeries. Surgical sponges are made of gauze … Read the rest