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WA State Health Care Associations to cease charges for preventable medical errors

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Washington state health care providers will cease charging for preventable hospital errors under a resolution announced on Tuesday by Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) and officials of several state health care associations, reports KaiserNetwork. The resolution — by the Washington State Medical Association, the Washington State Hospital Association and the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association — will apply to 28 “never events,” such as surgical procedures on the wrong patient or wrong part of the body, leaving medical instruments inside a body following surgery, illnesses or disabilities resulting from tainted medications or instruments, and other avoidable errors. The resolution is voluntary, but leaders of the associations say they expect hospitals, physicians and surgery centers around the state to comply.

The resolution is similar to agreements adopted in several other states (Vermont, Minnesota and Massachussetts) as well as to a rule introduced last year by CMS to cease Medicare payments for eight preventable conditions that can be acquired in hospitals.

In addition, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association this month announced an agreement to stop payments to hospitals for treatment that results from serious medical errors.

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