Hospitals around the country have come together to say they will no longer bill patients for their medical mistakes. Tennessee is one state out of 23 that has approved the non-payment policies for mistakes, with at least three more expected to follow suit.
The remaining 24 states have yet to implement this policy. This leaves many of the patients and family members who have run into this problem stunned. 67-year old Blake Oliver died last year in a Florida hospital after they mistakenly gave him type A positive blood instead of type O during a transfusion.
His sister is irate.
“With something this horrific, whether they’ve operated on the wrong person or removed the wrong finger, they shouldn’t expect reimbursement,” she said.
A July study by a federal agency found that preventable errors that occur during or after operations might be costing employers almost $1.5 billion a year!!
The idea to eliminate payments for these errors has gained a lot of press lately. MSN reports that Medicare will no longer be paying hospitals for the extra costs of treating certain injuries, infections and complications that occur after being admitted.
Some hospitals have always had a policy of waving fees. Officials in many states have been voluntarily adopting this policy for years. Others have told the press that they started paying more attention after their states took on the non-payment plans.