Are you a Medicare subscriber who has recently been hospitalized in New Hampshire? Did your condition seem to deteriorate while in the hospital's care? If so, it's time to have a look at your Medicare summary notice for a telltale sign that you've fallen victim to medical malpractice. Read on to learn more.
The Dreadful 28 Never Events
The term "never events" was coined by a reputable patient safety organization. It refers to a defined group of 28 possible occurrences that should never happen to a patient seeking medical care. Each medical error on the list of 28 is considered serious to the health and well-being of patients, and each is considered largely preventable when proper medical procedures are followed by any hospital staff facilitating care.
New Hampshire's Rising Instances Of Never Events
New Hampshire hospitals have been required by law to report medical never events to the state for the past five years. During these five years, the state has shown a steady incline in serious, preventable medical errors. While some medical experts speculate that this rise in reported never events can be attributed to nothing more than better, more thorough reporting measures, this doesn't change the fact that a large number of medical errors do occur in New Hampshire hospitals, so patients who seek care from hospitals in this state should pay close attention to the standard of care they receive while hospitalized.
How Medicare Handles Never Events
Medicare will not pay for treatment associated with never events. If you're on Medicare and your condition worsens while in the hospital because of one of these dreadful, preventable medical mistakes, the hospital has to pay to treat any complications that arise from that mistake; neither you nor Medicare can be billed for the treatment.
However, just because the hospital treats you and flips the bill does not necessary mean that they'll inform you of their error. If your physician was careless enough to allow a never event to happen to you in the first place, they very well may be dishonest enough to try to hide the information from you in order to prevent a lawsuit.
Checking Your Medicare Summary Notice
Medicare sends its subscribers a summary notice every three months. This summary notice details all services and supplies Medicare has paid for on your behalf. When you get this statement following your hospital stay, examine it carefully. Compare it with any bills you received at time of service during your hospitalization. If you were issued bills by the hospital but Medicare has not paid for those bills, contact the hospital to see if you still owe for the supplies or services on the bill. If the hospital informs you that you're in the clear, there's a problem.
If you received treatment and Medicare didn't pay for it and you are no longer responsible for the bill, then the hospital overrode that bill for some reason. This reason may be that the bill was issued for services rendered to treat a never event, and you simply weren't informed that your condition worsened while in the hospital because of a hospital error.
What To Do If You Find A Discrepancy
If your condition worsened while you were in a New Hampshire hospital and you've spotted a discrepancy between what you were billed for in the hospital, what was paid by Medicare, and what you still owe, it's time to contact a medical malpractice attorney. Your attorney can help you get to the bottom of whether or not a never event led to your deteriorating health while in the hospital, and they can help you seek compensation if it is discovered that your suffering was the result of a never event.