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Hospitals paid more for patients who suffer surgical errors

Having to put trust in other individuals - particularly when it relates to your health - can be an unnerving and challenging proposition. Unfortunately, in some cases, especially when serious medical intervention is necessary, there may be no other choice.

For people who must undergo a surgical operation, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association provides some disheartening data. The research revealed that when patients suffer complications due to surgical errors in an operating room, hospitals make more money than when an operation goes off without a hitch.

The researchers reviewed data compiled from more than 34,250 people who had an operation at some point during 2010. Of all of the surgical patients examined, 1,820 suffered a minimum of one complication following the operation.

The patients who suffered complications led to increased revenue for the hospital - on average, they brought in $49,400. In contrast, patients who did not suffer any complications following surgery led to average revenue for the hospitals of $18,900.

Experts are concerned that while this data does not indicate that hospitals are intentionally causing surgical errors to bring in higher revenues, it reveals that there are no monetary incentives in place to encourage hospitals to improve their error and complication rate.

Individuals who suffer complications due to surgical errors may be entitled to compensation because of the harm caused during the operation. In such situations, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is a prudent step to ensure the injured party's rights are protected.

Source: CBS News, "Surgical complications and errors bring in more money for hospitals," Michelle Castillo, April 17, 2013.

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