Hospital Malpractice?: Medicare Analysis Reports that Too Many People Die Unnecessarily at US Hospitals

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services analysis, too many people die unnecessarily at US hospitals. Researchers also say that many hospitals seem to serve as revolving doors for patients, with a number of patients ending up back in the hospital within 30 days. The American College of Cardiology’s National Data Registry’s chief science officer calls this situation a “double failure in the health system.”

For example, one out of every four patients suffering from heart failure ends up returning to the hospital within one month. The same goes for slightly under one out of every five pneumonia patients. Also, in 5.9% of US hospitals patients with pneumonia died at rates that were higher than the national average. 3.4% of hospitals reported heart failure-related death rates that were above the national average.

There were, however, over 200 US hospitals with death rates that were better than the average. Hundreds of hospitals garnered better results when it came to readmission rates.

Analysis findings come from the over 1 million readmissions and deaths involving Medicare patients between 2005 and 2008. Solutions under consideration include offering hospitals and doctors rewards not just for the number of procedures they perform but also for good patient outcomes. Creating a more competitive atmosphere between hospitals so that they have to give prospective patients a reason for admission might also lead to better quality care.

North Carolina Hospital Malpractice
In addition to providing better hospital care, it is also important that US hospitals prevent incidents of hospital malpractice from happening. Hospital malpractice can involve any kind of North Carolina medical malpractice committed by a hospital staff member, including a doctor, a hospital lab technician, a nurse, a hospital pharmacist, or another hospital staff member.

Examples of possible grounds for North Carolina hospital malpractice:

• Surgical errors
• Not ordering the correct medical tests
• Improper monitoring of a patient
• Nursing negligence
• Infections
• Wrong diagnosis
• Failure to provide the proper medical care or treatment
• Medication mistakes

Double Failure at US Hospitals, USA Today, July 9, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Medical Malpractice Overview, Justia

North Carolina Hospitals, USA Hospitals


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