Who Pays for Care Resulting from Adverse Events?

November 11, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Although the costs of care after adverse events are staggering—estimated at more than $19 billion in 2008—healthcare providers and insurers do not have uniform policies for how those costs are paid, often leaving patients responsible, according to a November 9, 2015, Washington Post article. The article uses the story of a 57-year-old patient who suffered a punctured bowel during a colonoscopy to illustrate the many costs. The family spent nearly $600,000 in medical care out of pocket, depleting their savings; the situation was compounded when the patient lost his job as a truck driver because medication for his follow-up care necessitated that he surrender his specialized driver's license. His lost job led to lost health insurance.

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