Healthcare News & Insights

One in seven hospitalized Medicare patients suffers harm

A new report raises some alarming questions about the quality of care Medicare patients receive.

According to the report just published by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services among hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries:

  • 13.5% experienced adverse events during their hospital stays
  • another 13.5% experienced events that caused temporary harm during their stay
  • 44% of adverse and temporary harm events were clearly or likely preventable.

The report noted that those adverse events contribute to the deaths of about 180,000 patients a year — and the cost of additional care is an estimated $4.4 billion annually.

The most common adverse events experienced by Medicare patients were medication errors and problems, followed by patient care issues, and then surgical problems and infections.

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