KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

New Study Finds The Tally For Medical Mistakes Much Higher Than Previous Estimates

ProPublica/NPR: How Many Die From Medical Mistakes In U.S. Hospitals?
It seems that every time researchers estimate how often a medical mistake contributes to a hospital patient's death, the numbers come out worse. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous "To Err Is Human" report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. … In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year. Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death (Allen, 9/20). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.