The Tolson Firm, LLC Articles Study: Hospitals are Financially Rewarded for Surgical Errors

Study: Hospitals are Financially Rewarded for Surgical Errors

By The Tolson Firm, LLC  May. 31, 2013 5:13p

A study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that hospitals make more income from patients who suffer surgical errors. Because these patients require longer hospital stays and additional medical care, the hospitals take in more fee-for-service income resulting from their own mistakes. The study involved an analysis of the medical records of 34,256 surgical patients at 12 Texas hospitals in 2010. 1,820 of the patients experienced complications from the surgeries that could have been prevented. These complications included such problems as infected incisions, blood clots, and pneumonia.

Because of the preventable complications, the average hospital stay for these patients was four times longer than for those without complications. The longer stay and additional medical care required resulted in an average increase in income for the hospital of $30,500. In some cases, the surgical errors raised the hospital's profits up to $44,000. The average increase in hospital revenue due to surgical errors translates to a 330 percent higher margin of profit for the hospital. While hospitals obviously do not make medical errors on purpose to boost their income, the study showed that the current fee-for-service payment rule in U.S. hospitals does nothing to prevent such mistakes and actually rewards those hospitals that commit preventable errors. The report in JAMA called the current system "untoward" due to this oversight.

Medical Malpractice Representation in Atlanta, Georgia

Surgical errors are one form of medical malpractice which can lead to claims made against hospitals and medical staff. Errors of this type can range from surgical equipment such as sponges left inside the patient's body to surgery on the wrong body part, anesthesiology errors, improper patient monitoring after surgery, and the wrong type of procedure done to resolve a medical issue. In some cases, the error may not be discovered until much later. When it is discovered, however, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.

The Tolson Firm, LLC offers highly-qualified and well-respected legal representation to those who have been harmed through such errors. The elite legal team at the firm has an impressive track record of success in achieving settlements and jury awards for its clients. The firm's lead attorney, Ms. Tolson, has been named one of the Top 100 Female Lawyers in Georgia and as a Rising Star Under 40 by Super Lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers also listed her as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Georgia for four consecutive years. If you believe you or a loved one has been subjected to an incident of medical malpractice, contact the firm to schedule a free case analysis. Find out what your legal rights and options may be in addressing the matter as soon as possible.

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