(AP) It’s a fact – three things – us, not taking care of medical errors, and medical inflation affect health insurance prices.
Thankfully medical errors are evidently going down and ranking in about the 20% range. That means that 80% of the reasons for high health insurance prices are neglecting our health and medical inflation. On the surface 20% doesn’t sound that bad, but when the numbers are crunched they’re pretty appalling.
These are recent statistics provided by the Department of Health & Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They’ve found that potentially preventable errors that happen during or after surgery may cost employers close to $1.5 billion a year.
That’s a whole lot of money being spent on fixing medical errors, extra costs that have no business happening in the first place. Consider the significant burden of these extra expenditures on the health care system. This factor in combination with people’s unwillingness to take care of themselves and medical inflation accounts for the ever-increasing health insurance rates.
Here’s just a quick sampling of some of the medical errors that add to the cost of running the health care system. If the mistake made is fixed by the hospital, they try and bill the insurance company for it. Interesting how that would work out.
Extra nursing care resulting from medical errors is high up on the list of things filed in the unnecessary costs file and coming it at about $12,196 (33% more costs). Kidney failure or out of control blood sugars came in at $11,797 for 32% more expenses. Pulmonary problems, blood clots etc. was about $7,838 at 25% more expensive, followed by wound opening at $1,426 for 6% more expenses than should have been necessary.
The scariest part of the statistics is the number of preventable deaths – 1 out of every 10 patients who died within 90 days of an operation, died due to preventable errors. One third of those deaths happened after the initial hospital discharge.
This death or injury by medical error problem isn’t new. It’s been around for ages, but not much seems to be done about it. It’s arguable that the high demands on the health care system today would naturally result in errors due to the pressures. But if these medical errors take the lives of over 300,000 people nation wide a year, something has to give.