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Are New Haven hospitals profiting from medical errors?

Visiting the hospital is sometimes an absolute necessity for many New Haven individuals. Many patients owe their lives to surgeons and doctors who have helped them overcome their illness or disease. There are two things doctors will rarely admit to their patients unless absolutely necessary, how much their visit will cost and if they made any errors or mistakes. With numerous medical malpractice cases going unnoticed, one must ask themselves, "Are hospitals profiting from surgical errors?"

The answer may alarm many. A recent study revealed that hospitals make more money on patients who suffer major surgical complications. Between the extra care and longer stay from errors, many patients are finding a gratuitously large medical bill waiting for them at the end of their stay. According to the study, effective methods for reducing complications from surgery exist but hospitals have been slow to apply them. With the average cost of a night in the hospital exceeding $1,000, an extra night or two can be financially devastating.

For example, say a patient goes in to the hospital to have their tonsils removed. The procedure should only take a few days but after a "complication" or error in the surgery, the patient is stuck in the hospital a few more days resulting in a higher medical bill. In the 12 hospitals that were studied, every patient with complications post surgery added an extra profit of $8,084 to the hospital. For patients who pay out of pocket, that money could have been spent on a vacation or something else.

Each year many New Haven residents are exposed to medical malpractice and medical errors. Any individual that believes they may have been a victim of medical error may file a lawsuit and request compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering.

Source: Outpatient Surgery, "Do Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors?" Stephanie Wasek, April 17, 2013

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