I do have an opinion here too on this subject. As it begins with Medicare, it will flow over to the insurance carriers as well in time. Has anybody read about the status of affairs of our hospitals lately? How many are making any profits? Did anyone read the Tenet story of late? This article is totally bogus in expecting more penalties for the physicians as they are already looking at the 10% cut coming in January, plus in California, they want an additional 2% tax with the proposed medical program.
Ok so what gives? Is it so important to lose the focus of good medical care for sake of "being right all the time"? This is something I have said for years, "there are more important things in life than having to be right all the time, but do the right thing". In other words, we all know what is right and what is wrong. it's ok to let someone else be right, but let's not drive this in to the ground and cost human lives at the same time.
The way we function today with money having priority over human lives, the Medicare program of not paying hospitals, will obviously make Medicare "right" when it comes to denying claims and having the same type of claim investigators doing the same things the commercial insurance carriers do, but are they doing the right thing? SO, LET'S JUST BE "RIGHT" AND PUT THE HOSPITALS RIGHT OUT OF BUSINESS, AFTER ALL THEY MADE A MISTAKE, SO THEY MUST PAY!
If one thinks this is the solution, then think again.
This will continue to close hospitals and deny medical service to all. Who gets to determine whether or not a surgery was a mistake outside the normal obvious realm. Right now people who are not educated in the health area are making those decisions, and that is scary. This is just another lovely scenario waiting to happen by pitting physicians against the hospital and vice versa.
It's not about better health care, once more it's passing the buck for someone else to pay. BD
Medicare, the government insurance program for older Americans, has announced that it will soon stop paying hospitals for the extra costs of treating certain patients whose illnesses are compounded by preventable errors. The effort wont save much money at first, and it will impose additional testing and documentation burdens on many hospitals, but it should promote better care. If the initial steps are expanded, it could yield greater savings as well. Under current payment rules, Medicare typically pays hospitals more for treating a surgical patient whose illness is complicated by an infection than it would if there were no infection present. That is true even if the infection is caused by sloppy sanitary practices in the hospital itself. The perversity of a payment system that actually rewards incompetence rather than penalizing it seems self-evident. So Medicare is clearly wise to start changing the incentives.
Starting on Oct. 1, 2008, Medicare will no longer pay extra for eight specific conditions that could generally be avoided if the hospital followed proven preventive procedures or common-sense precautions. Medicare will no longer pay hospitals to retrieve surgical tools or sponges left in a patient after the initial operation. Nor will it reimburse for extra care given patients harmed by incompatible blood or air embolisms, for treating bedsores developed in the hospital, injuries caused by falls in the hospital, infections caused by prolonged use of catheters in the bladder or blood vessels, or a surgical site infection after coronary artery bypass surgery.