Survey: Should Medicare Quit Paying for Hospital-Caused Complications?

September 7, 2007
Marianne Mattera
Marianne Mattera

Take this MedPage Today survey on the wisdom of Medicare's plan to withhold payment to hospitals for the costs involved in preventable errors.

Medicare has announced that, beginning a year from October, it will no longer reimburse hospitals for the extra costs of treating injuries from eight preventable conditions not present when the patient was admitted.

The agency may also add three more to the list that now includes patient falls, pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, vascular-catheter-associated infections, mediastinitis, air emboli, removal of objects left in the body during surgery, and injury caused by use of incompatible blood products. (See" Medicare Buck Stops at Paying for Hospital Mistakes)

Moreover, the rule change also prohibits hospitals from billing the patients for "any charges associated with the hospital-acquired complication."