CMS will no longer pay for medical treatment(reg req) for injuries or illnesses resulting from hospitalization. Expect private insurers to follow suit.
Its about time.
Medicine is one of the rare businesses where the people or institutions who make mistakes routinely expect to be paid to correct them. The result of this institutional entitlement likely is one of the reasons there are so many preventable mistakes in medicine.
The US auto industry used to provide each new car owner with a 12 month or 12.000 mile warranty. And cars lasted about 40,000 miles. Nowadays few cars come with less than a three year warranty and the 100,000 mile car is so commonplace as to be unremarkable; back in the seventies it was cause for astonishment. The big three were forced to improve the quality of their products when competitors upped the ante by building more reliable cars, and guaranteeing their reliability.
OK, not a direct analogy, but a telling one. Physicians and health care administrators are not going to improve their ‘quality” until and unless they are forced to pay for their mistakes. Auto makers paid by losing market share, and the medical community will ‘pay’ by fixing their mistakes on their own nickel.
Or more likely, by preventing errors from occurring, a much less expensive way to address the issue.
It will be quite telling to observe the speed and effectiveness of medical quality improvement initiatives after CMS’ policy change. I’m guessing it will also be morally repugnant, as evidence clearly indicates many of these ‘errors’ are quite easily, and cheaply, prevented.
As to the human cost, that’s a subject for another post.