Kelley/Uustal attorney Dr. Harlan Wald recently authored an article entitled ‘Never events’ need exposure, published on August 31, 2016, in the Sun Sentinel.
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“Never events” are medical mistakes that are 100% preventable and inexcusable. Examples of never events include operating on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving a foreign object inside the body after a surgical procedure. As egregious as these errors are, they are unfortunately not uncommon. What Dr. Wald finds equally unacceptable is the fact that Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance companies will not cover the costs of any medical care required as a result of never events.
While Florida requires reporting of never events, Dr. Wald believes that this is not enough. In order for patients to make informed decisions about the hospitals they visit and the doctors they see, it is imperative that they have access to information about never events. Currently, these reports are kept confidential and are not made available to the public.