Hospitals in Vermont are joining those in two other states that have officially formed policies to stop billing patients and insurance companies for certain adverse events. Two more states are considering similar policies as well.
The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems said its policy will cover eight serious events based on the list of 28 so-called never events identified by the National Quality Forum as preventable-care errors. Vermonts policy includes: air embolism-associated injury; artificial insemination/wrong donor; incompatible blood-associated injury; medication error injury; retention of foreign object; wrong-patient surgery; wrong-site surgery; and wrong surgical procedure.
The hospital association said it expects to complete implementation by the fall.
The Minnesota and Massachusetts hospital associations both announced similar policies last year. Minnesota will stop billing for all 28 events, but does not have an implementation schedule in place. Massachusetts, which will stop billing for nine of the 28 events while assessing the others, expects to initiate its policy by the end of January. The Colorado Hospital Association and Michigan Health & Hospital Association are considering nonbilling policies as well. -- by Jean DerGurahian
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