A study (full text $12) in JAMA pegs patient deaths due to medical errors at 98,000 per year. With a brief nod to significant improvements made in some hospitals, researchers go on to savage everyone but, well, researchers:
The researchers blame the complexity of health care systems, a lack of leadership, the reluctance of doctors to admit errors and an insurance reimbursement system that rewards errors hospitals can bill for additional services needed when patients are injured by mistakes but often will not pay for practices that reduce those errors.
I thought we were living in a mostly capitated world, where the vast majority of complications lose money for hospitals. Certainly improving patient flow by avoiding adverse events provides better financial results than turning a blind eye and hoping adverse events will line hospital's pockets. The hostility towards hospitals is surprising.
But "we have to turn the heat up on the hospitals," Leape says