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The painful truth: hospitals profit from medical malpractice

According to a new study, patients that have complications after their surgeries or hospital stays can result in higher revenue for a hospital than patients who have no complications. The study looked at how much money insurers are charged for patients who go home and don't have to return to the hospital for treatment of complications compared to patients that do have to return. Researchers found that insurance companies were charged an average of $30,500 more for patients who returned with complications.

Generally, these charges were only higher for private insurance companies and not for Medicaid, Medicare or people who paid out of pocket. This could be because these three situations often prompt complaints with the hospital, whereas insurer might just pay the negotiated bill. Even if a private insurer covers the additional costs of a hospital stay because of medical malpractice mistakes, the person's stay quadruples, on average. Hospital errors can result in a longer recovery and loss of income for a patient who can't work during their recovery.

This study has prompted some to call for industry changes, especially from insurance companies which will frequently pay for substandard care and errors that could have been prevented. If a person is forced to miss work, and therefore losing income because of a medical error, they might be wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

An attorney can help a person seek compensation for their injuries. This compensation can help ensure a person can get the care that they need and deserve. It can also help pay a person for the loss of income they might experience during their extended period of recovery.

Source: New York Times, "Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds," Denise Grady, April 16, 2013

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