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Employers call on hospitals to waive costs for "never" events

Physician Practice Advisor, November 22, 2006

A group of large U.S. employers has called on hospitals to apologize and waive costs for "never" events-medical errors that should never occur and for which patients should not be billed-the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of large healthcare purchasers, and the Midwest Business Group on Health, have asked hospitals to waive costs for 28 never events, including the following:

  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • Mixing up donor sperm for an artificial insemination
  • Retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery
  • Patient injury associated with contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility

Under the proposal, hospitals either would waive the charges for the original treatment or assume the costs for additional treatment needed after the error.

To read the Chicago Tribune report, click here. .