Disgusted by the high rates of unnecessary medical complications patients were experiencing during admissions to many hospitals, Maryland has implemented a new system to penalize these poorly performing facilities.
Under the new plan to improve the quality of care, Maryland Hospitals with medical complication rates higher than the state’s average would be penalized by having lower rates of reimbursement provided by the state.
Utilizing a list of 49 types of medical complications (including common problems such as: bed sores, falls, urinary tract infections and accidental nicks and cuttings during medical procedures), Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission would then look to see if indeed the condition developed during a hospitalization or if it was indeed related to an existing illness.
According to Dianne Deeney, Associate Director of Quality Initiatives of the Commission;
We don’t believe all these complications are absolutely preventable. But we believe… there is great room for improvement in these complication rates.
As a lawyer who works on medical malpractice cases, I am frequently downright repulsed by the fact that many people who go into hospitals for medical care, come away far sicker– or with completely unrelated complications like pressure ulcers during their admission. I feel as if the time has come for hospitals and other medical facilities to implement well-known preventative measures such as: specialized staff training, emergency reviews and utilization of electronic medical records.
Hopefully this program will serve as a kick-in-the-rear for under-performing hospitals to clean up their act– or face real economic consequences. The time has come.
Md. hospitals fined for high infection rates, The Examiner