Medicare To Stop Paying For Preventable Hospital Errors

The Bush Administration announced that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating preventable errors, injuries and infections that occur in hospitals. Until this policy change, Medicare covered expenses stemming from hospital errors. Privare insurers are now also making a similar policy change in an attempt to save money. The new policy does poses some interesting questions including: 1) will it promote better hospital safety thereby reducing the rate of hospital error; 2) who is going to pay for medical expenses incurred for treating injuries caused by hospital error; and 3) who is going to determine if a medical expense was due to a preventable hospital error.