Medicare plan to up the ante on iatrogenic events

The Medicare system of healthcare provision in the USA is preparing to increase the number of conditions that will not be paid for under the system. As hospitals cannot levy any resulting charge on the patients themselves they must therefore bear the cost of these events themselves.

The conditions that kicked off this process in Oct 2007 were

  • Object inadvertently left in after surgery
  • Air embolism
  • Blood incompatibility
  • Catheter associated urinary tract infection
  • Pressure ulcer (decubitus ulcer)
  • Vascular catheter associated infection
  • Surgical site infection- Mediastinitis (infection in the chest) after coronary artery bypass graft surgery
  • Certain types of falls and trauma

The latest proposals will add in another nine conditions if aproved and will serve to strengthen the patient safety agenda, placing prevention right at the forefront of hospital safety programmes

  • Surgical site infections following certain elective procedures
  • Legionnaires’ disease (a type of pneumonia caused by a specific bacterium)
  • Extreme blood sugar derangement
  • Iatrogenic pneumothorax (collapse of the lung)
  • Delirium
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Deep vein thrombosis/Pulmonary Embolism (formation/movement of a blood clot)
  • Staphylococcus aureus septicemia (bloodstream infection)
  • Clostridium difficile associated disease (a bacterium that causes severe diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis)

This would concentrate minds somewhat

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