Surgical Complications Increase Profits, Decrease Reform

April 29, 2013 | Crandall & Pera Law
Surgical Complications Increase Profits, Decrease Reform

Hospitals may have little incentive to improve upon preventable surgical complications and mistakes because of the revenue they receive for longer stays and extra care from insurers, according to a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association

Surgical complications that could be prevented, like blood clots, pneumonia or infected incisions, will remain high until the insurance payment system is changed to stop rewarding poor care, according to the study's researchers.

The study's analysis of over 34,000 surgical patients showed an average $30,500 increase in revenue for patients who required an extended stay as compared to patients without complications ($49,4000 versus $18,900). Private insurers paid far more for complications than did Medicare or Medicaid, or patients who paid out of pocket.

While the researchers are not suggesting hospitals deliberately cause complications to make money, they do point out the fact that the current payment system makes it difficult for hospitals to perform better when improvements can wind up costing them money.

To help reduce complications, insurers should not only quit paying for substandard care, but also should reward excellent care with bonuses. Hospitals should also be required to disclose their complication rates, because patients will shun those with high rates and force them to improve or shut down. Read the full details here:

Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds

This study confirms apparent medical negligence by allowing hospitals to profit from various cases of negligence. Tort reform has not led to a decrease in negligence, but rather an increase in avoiding responsibility for the malpractice, medication errors, surgical error, cerebral palsy and wrongful death such medical negligence causes.

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice please call to investigate your matter fully. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.