HHS OIG examines adverse events among Medicare beneficiaries

According to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General the report, fifteen percent of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries in two selected counties experienced an adverse event during their hospital stays.

 

Of the 278 Medicare beneficiaries in the sample, 41 experienced an adverse event during their hospital stay that met one or more of the three criteria for an estimated adverse event rate of 15 percent. Six of these forty-one patients experienced multiple adverse events, for a total of 51 adverse events. Fewer than 1 percent of beneficiaries experienced an adverse event on NQF’s list of Serious Reportable Events, 4 percent experienced an adverse event on CMS’s list of hospital-acquired conditions, and 13 percent experienced an adverse event resulting in the four most serious categories on the patient harm scale.

 

(SOURCES: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, December 22, 2008; US Department of Health and Human Services, http://hhs.gov, accessed January 7, 2008)