Medicare payments have been reduced for 15 New Jersey hospitals due to higher rates of hospital-acquired conditions. These are certain types of conditions that can harm patients when there are safety lapses. Hospitals with above-average rates of these conditions can have funding reduced by Medicare due to a provision in the Affordable Care Act.
Fewer New Jersey hospitals were penalized this year, but there is still major work that must be done to protect the safety of patients. Hospitals in New Jersey were penalized for patient safety lapses that included:
- Hospital-acquired infections: Medicare will reduce payments for hospitals that have higher than average rates of hospital-acquired infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that hospital-acquired infections kill an estimated 99,000 people in the US every year.
- Falls: Hospitals can have their Medicare funding cut if their patients suffer an above-average rate of hip fractures caused by falls. Staff can prevent falls by properly securing or supervising at-risk patients.
- Blood clots: Blood clots can form when hospitalized patients are not taken care of by staff. These may travel to vital organs, such as the lungs or brain. Hospitals can be dinged if they have above-average rates of post-operative blood clots.
- Pressure ulcers: Immobile or incapacitated patients can suffer from pressure ulcers if they are not periodically moved by hospital staff. Ulcers can become infected.
- Post-operative complications: Medicare will dock payments for hospitals with higher rates of post-operative sepsis, blood clots, respiratory failure and kidney injuries.
Are Hospital-Acquired Conditions Caused by Medical Malpractice?
There are cases where hospital-acquired conditions are caused by medical malpractice. Whether a medical malpractice claim could be filed for a hospital-acquired condition would depend on the specifics of the case. Claims must meet certain criteria to proceed. You could speak with a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney at Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. to discover your eligibility for filing a claim.