Today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added the common cold to its ever-growing list of "never events:"
"Press Release, 3 Aug 2009: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today it is taking several actions to improve the quality of care in hospitals and reduce the number of “never events” -- preventable medical errors that result in serious consequences for the patient.-Wes
“Never events cause serious injury or death to beneficiaries and result in unnecessary costs to Medicare and Medicaid due to the need to treat the consequences of the errors,” said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. “There simply is no excuse why health care workers do not cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze. The steps taken today reflect our strong conviction that these events, in fact, should be prevented, and our commitment to protecting Medicare and Medicaid patients from them.”
A final acute care inpatient prospective payment (IPPS) rule that went on display today at the Office of the Federal Register for publication August 18, 2009 updates Medicare payments to hospitals for fiscal year (FY) 2010 and provides additional incentives for hospitals to improve the quality of care provided to people with Medicare. As part of these quality of care incentives, the rule includes payment provisions to provide new attire for all staff who come directly in contact with patients.
In addition to the final rule, CMS today sent a letter to state Medicaid directors providing information about how states can adopt the same never events practices. The letter specifically encourages states to adopt the same non-payment policies outlined in today’s final Medicare rule. Nearly 51 states already have or are considering methods to eliminate payment for some never events."
* Well, not quite yet, but it isn't too hard to imagine, now that governmental rationing of health care expenditures continues unabated.
Reference: Never events practices flowchart credit.