Corporate Compliance

Washington state hospitals won't charge for 'never events'

Compliance Monitor, February 6, 2008

Add Washington state hospitals to the growing list of facilities that won't charge for preventable medical errors, known as never events.

Hospitals, doctors, and surgery centers will no longer bill patients for situations ranging from surgery on the wrong body part to foreign objects left behind, according to an article in the Seattle Times. The Washington State Medical Association, the Washington State Hospital Association and the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association also signed the voluntary agreement.

Medicare announced in August 2007 that it would stop paying for preventable complications and since then several states have followed suit, including Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.

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