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Law Makers Called On to Improve Preventable Medical Error Deaths

Medical Errors account for approximately 1,000 deaths daily.  These preventable errors are the third leading cause of death in 2013. Medical Errors are avertable actions that can include errors in medication administration and botched surgeries. With simple changes in attention and focus, coupled with assistance from the government health agencies, these unnecessary deaths have the potential to be eradicated completely.  On Thursday July 17th, multiple medical-quality experts confronted senate committee members and insisted that “government action is needed to lower the rate of hospital medical errors and infections.” With aid from the government, hospital related deaths can be better monitored and reprimanded.

The director of Consumer’s Union’s Safe Patient Project, Lisa McGiffert, challenged the senate committee members to reduce the number of preventable deaths in healthcare facilities nationwide. Ms. McGiffert explains that the possible course of action for Medicare should be an emphasis of public reporting of “hospital- specific infection rates and of medical outcomes such as surgical deaths and complications.” A better comprehension of the drawbacks in the medical realm could further improve the welfare of patients in a hospital setting.

In conjunction with the statement made by Lisa McGiffert, Peter Pronovost, the Johns Hopkins Medicine senior vice president for patient safety and quality, explains that Medicare “’hasn’t pulled the trigger’, to insist that U.S. hospitals begin  to report medical outcomes across the board. “

Today Medicare requires outcome reports of treatment from three major diagnoses:  congestive heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia. Although CHF, MI, and pneumonia are inimical diseases with high incidences of death, these conditions are not the only forms of illnesses that should be observed. In contrast to the outcomes report on the federal level, the state of Philadelphia requires all hospitals to “report a wide range of medical outcomes and is given credit by many in medicine for lowering the rate of medical adverse events there.”

Although officials at Medicare and Medicaid Services refused to comment on the matter, they have explained in prior statements that “the Affordable Care Act calls for it to apply 1% payment reduction to hospitals that rank in the lowest-performing quartile of certain hospital acquired conditions.”

Medical Errors are detrimental to the medical profession and require close observation. In 1999, a study found that an estimated total of 98,000 deaths occur due to medical errors yearly. Fifteen years later, that unforeseen number has not improved, but has rather increased to an estimated 440,000 deaths a year. Healthcare entities have a responsibility to the public to eliminate all preventable medical errors that create a high- risk environment for patients in facilities.

Although unfortunate, preventable medical errors occur frequently in hospitals as well as skilled nursing facilities. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, an elite elder abuse and neglect firm, we believe the greatest quality of care should be a guarantee for you and your loved one.  Mr. Yeroushalmi and his staff battle rigorously to defend your fundamental rights and fight for the compensation that you and your loved ones deserve. If you have witnessed elder abuse or neglect please do not hesitate to call us at (310) 623-1926 for a free consultation.