Health Insurer Won’t Pay for Preventable Errors

By Staff Report

Aug. 8, 2008

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois won’t pay for hospital-based preventable medical errors, the health insurer announced this week.

Instead, the Chicago-based health insurer said it will work with network providers to stop medical errors before they happen.

Blue Cross’s goal for years has been to work to prevent medical errors, which often go undetected,” Dr. Scott Sarran, the Illinois’ Blues chief medical officer, said in a statement announcing the move.

The medical errors covered by the initiative include “serious hospital acquired conditions,” such as preventable infections, and “never events,” which are errors in patient care that can and should be prevented—such as operating on the wrong body part or transfusion errors.

Filed by Mark A. Hofmann of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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