Paying dearly for mistakes

The lede:

The movement to align patient safety and payment seems to be picking up a full head of steam. Hospitals and payers are coalescing around the idea that no one should get paid for so-called never events — serious reportable events, such as wrong-site surgery, that kill or maim patients.

Perhaps most significantly, the BlueCross BlueShield Assn. announced in November 2007 that its plans will work toward ending payment for never events. The change will be phased in over several years as the Blues alters its coding and claims processes. A spokesman said adoption will vary among the 39 Blues plans, which insure more than 100 million people, because the change requires renegotiating contracts and securing agreements from local physicians and hospitals.

The whole shebang.