Report recommends ways for hospitals to cut costs, improve patient careThe historic health care legislation passed this year is intended to drastically cut health care costs – especially those associated with Medicare and Medicaid. However, both programs bleed money and the implementation is proving exceedingly difficult.

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to determine whether Medicare beneficiaries receive adequate healthcare and found that one out of every seven of them is harmed as a result of lapses in care. Furthermore, the study concluded that unexpected adverse events in hospitals, like infection or medication errors, added at least $4.4 billion in government health costs and cost 180,000 lives a year.

Nancy Foster, an official at the American Hospital Association, said the study highlighted areas in which hospitals can improve their efficiency to save money and cut back costs. Foster told the New York Times that hospitals “have a ways to go before we are where we want our performance to be.” The report suggested incentivizing hospitals to improve their patient care and cut back on out of control costs.

The study was the largest of its kind and emphasizes the patient care improvements necessary to reduce the soaring costs the health care industry imposes not only on hospitals, but also on the taxpaying public.
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