1 in 4 Medicare Patients Harmed in Hospital Stays

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General recently published a report on adverse events in hospitals. In particular, the report focused on adverse events involving seniors covered by Medicare. The report’s findings are startling, to say the least. Please know that if you were harmed by a medical provider’s malpractice, you can file a legal claim to try and recover compensation for your injuries.

Report Findings

The report in question found that a quarter of Medicare patients (or 1 in 4) experienced harm during hospital stays in October of 2018. “Patient harm” includes adverse events and temporary harm events. Of the 25% of patients harmed, 12% experienced adverse events and 13% experienced temporary harm events.

A few definitions here are helpful:

  • An adverse event is characterized as medical care that leads to longer hospital stays, permanent harm, life-saving intervention, or death.
  • A temporary harm event usually requires medical intervention but does not cause lasting harm, prolong hospital stays, or involve life-sustaining measures.

As to the latter, please note that some of the temporary harm events in the study were serious and could have caused further harm if medical providers had not treated patients in a timely manner.

Types of Harm

The following are the types of harm that the Medicare patients experienced in the study:

  • Medication side effects (43 %),
  • Patient care issues (23%),
  • Procedure and surgery complications (22%), and
  • Infections (11%).

Note that physician reviewers found that 43% of the above harm events were preventable.

Medical Malpractice Claims for Medical Harm

Please know that you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim if you:

  • were a medical patient (a Medicare patient or otherwise), and
  • suffered harm at the hands of a medical provider.

To succeed in a claim, you’ll have to prove that your doctor failed to meet the standard of care that a reasonably prudent doctor would have provided under the same or similar circumstances. Your medical malpractice attorney can attempt to make this proof by using:

  • Your medical records (including a doctor’s notes and charts),
  • Test results,
  • Treatment plans,
  • Diagnostic information,
  • Discharge papers, and
  • Expert testimony.

If you convince a judge or jury that a provider committed malpractice, you can recover compensation for such things as:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Out-of-pocket expenses,
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC

Please know that our firm is here to help if you were injured due to a medical provider’s malpractice. Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. The attorneys at our law firm also have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties in medical malpractice cases. They never back down to insurers and fight for their clients’ interests every step of the way. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal representation you deserve.

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