MA hospitals forswear payment for preventable errors

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) has announced that its members no longer plan to charge patients or health plans for treatments required to address problems related to preventable errors taking place in their facility. The announcement makes Massachusetts the second state whose hospitals have voluntarily made such a pledge, following on a September announcement by Minnesota providers. It's probably not the last, though, as Medicare will stop paying for some critical adverse events starting October 2008, and many hospitals want to take a stand on the issue ahead of time.

Under the new policy, hospitals will stop requesting payment for any of nine National Quality Forum-defined events, including wrong-site and wrong-patient surgery, patient death or disability due to wrong use of blood or blood products and medication errors, as well as any follow-up care needed to bring the patient back from such errors. The MHA says that it will expand the list once its members get used to the current policy.

To learn more about the MHA's stand:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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