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Health Agencies Update
October 25, 2006

Payments for Adverse Events

JAMA. 2006;296(16):1958. doi:10.1001/jama.296.16.1958-c

A new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has found that Medicare pays hospitals more than $300 million per year for treating adverse events, but the payments cover less than one third of additional costs incurred by hospitals in treating these events (Zhan C et al. Health Aff [Millwood]. 2006;25:1386-1393).

Specifically, the study found that in the 5 types of adverse events identifiable in Medicare claims, Medicare's extra payments range from about $700 per case of decubitus ulcer (bed sores) to $9000 per case of postoperative sepsis.

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