Medical Errors Costing U.S. Billions
TUESDAY, April 8 (The Washington Post- Health Day News) — From 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study.
This analysis of 41 million Medicare patient records, released April 8 by HealthGrades, a health care ratings organization, found that patients treated at top-performing hospitals were, on average, 43 percent less likely to experience one or more medical errors than patients at the poorest-performing hospitals.
The overall medical error rate was about 3 percent for all Medicare patients, which works out to about 1.1 million patient safety incidents during the three years included in the analysis.
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