Corporate Compliance

MA will no longer pay for certain 'never events'

Compliance Monitor, June 25, 2008

Massachusetts state officials involved in the Commonwealth’s HealthyMass initiative announced the state will no longer pay for 28 preventable medical events, also known as never events.
 
Government officialssaid the 28 medical events, deemed preventable by the National Quality Forum, are a concern among patients and healthcare providers. They hope the uniform policy will create a financial incentive for healthcare providers to avoid making certain mistakes in addition to reducing government spending.
 
Medicare announced in August 2007 that it would stop paying for eight preventable complications and in April proposed adding nine more preventable complications to the list. According to the press release, Massachusetts is the first state to establish a uniform non-payment policy across the state government.
 
Incidents no longer covered include:
  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care, in which the device is used or functions other than as intended
  • Infant discharged to the wrong person
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with patient elopement (disappearance)
  • Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare provider
To read the press release and review the full list of errors no longer covered, click here.

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