Hospitals Should Repay Medicare Funds Received For Treatment Of Preventable Medical Errors
President Bush should take action to recover from hospitals the "billions of dollars in overpayments that never should have been made in the first place" for treatment of preventable conditions acquired when patients were receiving care, Ken Connor, chair of the Center for a Just Society, writes in a Washington Times opinion piece.
Connor writes that a new CMS rule that will halt reimbursements for preventable errors -- which goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2008 -- "will help in the future," adding that one "would think the reasonableness of such a policy would have been self-evident long ago."
Instead, "[f]or decades, Medicare has been paying hospitals the cost of fixing medical errors that resulted from the hospitals' own negligence," he writes. He continues that Bush "should not relent" to threats that health care costs will rise because of the reduced payment but that "he should go further, much further."
Connor states that Bush "should insist that health care providers whose negligence caused a need for additional treatment to Medicare patients reimburse Medicare for the cost of that treatment" (Connor, Washington Times, 8/31).
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