patient in bed with attendants

UPDATE: Many older Americans experience preventable harm when hospitalized

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Patricia Kelmar
Director, Health Care Campaigns

Author: Patricia Kelmar

Director, Health Care Campaigns

 

Started on staff: 1986-1991; 2020
B.A., magna cum laude, Boston College; J.D., high honors, George Washington University Law School

Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She serves on the board of the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group for the National Quality Forum. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.

A recent report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that one in four Medicare patients treated in a hospital experienced patient harm. And a whopping 43 percent of that harm was preventable. What does that mean? Additional unnecessary pain and suffering for patients and added costs in care and treatment for about one fourth of those harmed patients. The OIG report estimated these preventable harms cost Medicare “hundreds of millions of dollars” and likely cost the patients themselves in additional out-of-pocket costs. That’s why the government needs to stay ever vigilant in inspecting and reporting on patient safety events in our hospitals. In June, we sent comments to the federal government to urge just that. 

 

Photo byMufid Majnun onUnsplash

Patricia Kelmar
Director, Health Care Campaigns

Author: Patricia Kelmar

Director, Health Care Campaigns

 

Started on staff: 1986-1991; 2020
B.A., magna cum laude, Boston College; J.D., high honors, George Washington University Law School

Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She serves on the board of the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group for the National Quality Forum. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.