Posted by Sten Westgard, MS
The third year of Medicare penalties has been meted out. This year hospitals were penalized for avoidable complications such as various types of infections, blood clots, bed sores, falls, and new to the list this year, the prevalence of two types of bacteria resistant to drugs.
Do you want to guess the percentage of injuries that impacted patients in US healthcare?
The answer, after the jump...
Sadly, the answer is 11.5% of patient hospital stays resulted in an avoidable injury. If you're keeping score, that's 2.7 Sigma.
No wonder we need reform so badly. Even when we track a small set of avoidable complications, the error rate is quite high, and would be considered unacceptable in any other industry.
The source of this data, and the 769 hospitals fined nearly $430 million for these violations, from the excellent Kaiser Health News (reporting on data released by the Federal Government):
[ Now, how do you improve this by repeal and ... unspecified replacement? In my completely personal and political opinion, I don't see how slashing trillions of funding out of the healthcare economy is going to improve this. But what do I know? ]