If you have been hospitalized in recent times, take heed. There is a policy implemented by Medicare that you should know about. This is known as the “Never Events” policy. Under this ruling, Medicare has officially stopped paying for a number of issues that can result from a patient’s stay at a California hospital.
What is the “never events” policy all about?
The “Never Events” policy has been officially designed to end Medicare’s responsibility for a long list of issues. These are problems that can result from a case of medical malpractice. In all, 28 issues were enumerated. A partial list of them includes the following:
- Surgeries performed on the wrong area of the body
- Transfusions of the incorrect blood type
- Pressure ulcers resulting in bedsores
- Trauma due to falls or other injuries received while under medical care
- Infections acquired from surgeries
- Infections acquired from catheters
How will this policy affect patients?
The intended effect of the new policy is to compel hospitals to keep a tighter rein on malpractice as well as routine medical errors. This is due to the fact that Medicare has declared that it will not bill a patient for any care that is needed after a “Never Event.” This means that the hospital itself will have to eat the extra costs.
Hospitals will thus have to tighten up their routine patient safety routines. Health insurers will also have to take greater care to make sure that they don’t end up absorbing the extra costs associated with medical errors. Many are already contacting hospitals to let them know that they are on due notice.
The main effect that this can have on the industry is a reduction in the amount of money that Medicare is compelled to pay out on claims. The policy may also be able to lower the amount of money that policy holders are paying to retain their coverage. If you have Medicare, you are advised to contact them to learn more about this new policy.