Medicare report: Need to improve tracking of serious hospital errors


Medicare inspectors must do a better job of tracking reports of serious mistakes in care at the nation’s hospitals, as well as of informing rating agencies of the errors, according to a report released Tuesday by the agency’s inspector general.

Hundreds of serious errors go unrecorded, the report found, because the inspectors who find problems at hospitals don’t tell the national agencies that accredit hospitals. That means that those hospitals continue to participate in Medicare and that they don’t learn from their mistakes, Inspector General Daniel Levinson writes…

Last year, the inspector general found that 15,000 Medicare patients die each month in part because of the treatment they receive in a hospital. Tuesday’s report focuses on the worst errors — or “immediate jeopardy complaints.” They include surgical fires, patient suicides, sexual assault, surgeries performed on the wrong patients and medical instruments left inside a patient after a surgery…

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