US medical system lets hospitals profit from botched surgeries, extra care


American hospitals are financially discouraged from properly caring for their patients because, as a new study reveals, surgical complications and extra medical care result in higher profits generated from insurance companies.

The study’s results were published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In an editorial accompanying the findings, the authors recommended changing the American payment structure to put an end to a system that rewards hospitals that provide poor care.

Without such reforms, hospitals need to look no further than their bottom line to see that there’s no incentive to improve.

“It’s been known that hospitals are not rewarded for quality,” said study author and Harvard School of Public Health director Atul Gawande. “But it hadn’t been recognized exactly how much more money they make when harm is done.

“We found clear evidence that reducing harm and improving quality is perversely penalized in our current health care…

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