Many MA hospitals waive charges for errors

Bracing themselves, no doubt, for Medicare's pending rules banning payment for some preventable problems, about half of Massachusetts hospitals are now waiving charges for serious medical errors.

A total of 33 of 61 hospitals reporting data to employer organization The Leapfrog Group told the group that they'd stopped charging for 28 "never events," such as wrong-site surgery, leaving a foreign object in a surgery patient and serious medication errors. Hospitals listed as having this policy include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Caritas Christi Health Care and Tufts-New England Medical Center.

The hospitals are responding not only to pressure from Medicare--which is certainly potent on its own--but also to the local political climate. A state senator has recently filed legislation which would prohibit hospitals from charging for such events.

To get more information on this trend:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe

Related Articles:
By 2008, Medicare won't pay for hospital errors. Report
Other payors may follow CMS's 'no pay' lead. Report
Business says 'no pay' for major mistakes. Report
Study: Wrong-site surgeries, close calls are common. Report

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