Federal Study Finds Hospital Errors Cause 15,000 Deaths Each Month

A major federal study released in November 2010 found that one in seven Medicare patients are harmed while in a U.S. hospital, and 15,000 die each month as a result of malpractice by hospitals and their employees. The report by the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office found that 44 percent of the disclosed errors were preventable and that they unnecessarily cost taxpayers approximately $4.4 billion per year. The groundbreaking report was based on the findings of a team of doctors who reviewed the records of 780 Medicare patients who were in a U.S. hospital during October 2008, and are considered reliable enough to draw conclusions about all Medicare patients who received care in a hospital.

The report called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to toughen penalties for hospitals that provide substandard care rather than reward them with increased billings. The report adds weight to federal health reform provisions that withhold payment for avoidable re-admissions, and calls for stronger penalties against hospitals that fail to follow proven best medical practices.

The law firm of Pierce & Thornton specializes in medical malpractice litigation throughout North Carolina and Virginia, including in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Suffolk, and the Eastern Shore. The attorneys at Pierce & Thornton have nearly 50 years of experience in litigating all types of medical malpractice cases. They have obtained some of the largest jury verdicts and mediation settlements in Virginia over the past several years. We encourage you to contact our firm if you question the medical care rendered to you, a family member, or friend. If we can help you, we will. Your consultation is free.

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