Medical Errors in Massachusetts Cost Hundreds of Millions

The comprehensive survey of medical malfeasance in Massachusetts was released by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety

A new survey has found that nearly 62,000 medical errors in Massachusetts in one year cost about $617 million for follow-up care.

The Boston Globe reports that the survey released Monday by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety is one of the most comprehensive statewide examinations of medical errors.

The state agency's analysis of 2013 insurance claims, which included 98 medical codes associated with preventable harm, found that the most common and costly errors involved pressure ulcers, typically bedsores, and post-surgery infections.

The same year, patients experienced 1,511 accidental punctures or lacerations during surgery, and providers left foreign objects inside patients' bodies about 224 times.

Researchers used 2013 data because it was the final year of a medical coding system that allowed comparisons to a similar national study.

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