Effective today, Medicare will stop compensating hospitals for the additional costs to treat patients who suffered from certain preventable infections and errors due to bad medical care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) selected a number of “either costly or common” conditions, including certain bloodstream infections and select surgical site infections, serious bed sores, foreign objects left in patients after surgery, wrong transfusions, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and other harmful injuries.
CMS-adopted federal regulations also include protections to prevent hospitals from billing patients when payments are withheld. These newly effective regulations could apply to several hundred thousand hospital stays of the 12.5 million covered annually by Medicare, reports the NY Times.
The logic that hospitals shouldn’t be handed extra federal taxpayer dollars for delivering unsafe care should give them a monetary hint to take more evidence-based precautions.