Chicago taxpayers foot the bill for hospital negligence

Health insurance premiums are so high for some Chicago residents that even basic coverage is unaffordable. Illinois residents may save money on medical expenses through the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a national health care plan set for launch in October.

The PPACT or Obamacare promises wider, subsidized coverage for the care administered by health care providers. According to some consumer watchdog groups and researchers, insurance premiums also fund doctor and hospital mistakes.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated businesses with employee health coverage were saddled with an extra bill of $39,000 for every surgical infection contracted. Hospital negligence costs are lumped in with quality care expenses that raise insurance premiums to businesses and trickle down to consumers.

Patients’ lives depend upon physicians and hospitals to furnish a high standard of care, which health care providers are obligated to give. Hospitals and doctors who endanger patients’ safety are held accountable through medical malpractice claims.

Hospital negligence is more prevalent than the public may realize. A report from the Institute of Medicine more than a decade ago estimated that 98,000 medical errors led to patient deaths every year. A recently-published journal study concluded up to 440,000 deaths annually were caused by hospital mistakes that never had to happen.

Research in the Journal of Patient Safety placed death by avoidable hospital errors as the third leading cause of death among Americans, just behind cancer and cardiac disease.

The public and lawmakers have been clamoring for affordable health care. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the medical elephant in the room that apparently kills over 1,000 trusting hospital patients daily. Patient advocates and researchers say it’s time to crack down on unacceptable health care safety practices.

Liability claims in Illinois civil courts allow victims to request and receive compensation for substandard hospital care.

Source:
forbes.com, “Stunning News On Preventable Deaths In Hospitals” Leah Binder, Sep. 23, 2013

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Chicago taxpayers foot the bill for hospital negligence