Second Look – Reimbursement & Regulation

If you missed these
Headline News Now items the first time around, AAOS Now gives you a second chance to review them. Headline News Now—the AAOS thrice-weekly, online update of news of interest to orthopaedic surgeons—brings you the latest on clinical, socioeconomic, and political issues, as well as important announcements from AAOS.

Apology initiative successful

According to the Associated Press, an initiative in place at the University of Michigan Health System has reduced medical liability claims against the system from 121 in 2001 to 61 in 2006. Under the initiative, the system learns of possible medical errors from physicians themselves, patients, or patients’ lawyers. When an error is reported, the university conducts a peer review to determine if there was an error, and if changes are needed to prevent a recurrence. Health system physicians and officials also offer to meet with patients and their families, sometimes to explain that treatment was appropriate and sometimes to admit a mistake.

Focus on quality saves lives

An analysis by Thompson Reuters of 252 healthcare systems in the United States finds that hospital systems that focus on quality care are able to reduce death rates and have healthier patients overall. According to the data, the best-performing 20 percent of hospitals had 25 percent fewer deaths, 19 percent fewer complications, and 13 percent fewer patient mishaps than the 20 percent worst performers.

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