Study: Hospitals ‘Profit Handsomely’ From Surgical Errors

JAMA

JAMA (Photo credit: kimubert)

A recent study in the JAMA, shows that hospitals profit from surgical errors.

Hospitals nearly triple their profits when they make surgical errors, compared to how much they make when patients don’t suffer harm, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

On average, the hospitals studied reaped an extra $30,500 in profits when a patient developed one or more potentially preventable surgical complications because insurance plans pay more for longer stays and extra care, the study found.

Some surgical mishaps boosted profits by up to $44,000 per patient, reported researchers from the Boston Consulting Group, Harvard, and Texas Health Resources, a large nonprofit hospital system.

The occurrence of postsurgical complications was associated with a higher per-encounter hospital contribution margin for patients covered by Medicare and private insurance but a lower one for patients covered by Medicaid and who self-paid. Depending on payer mix, many hospitals have the potential for adverse near-term financial consequences for decreasing postsurgical complications.

Read more: Hospitals Profit from Errors

Relationship Between Occurrence of Surgical Complications and Hospital Finances

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