Hospital Acquired Infections - Paying Hospitals Twice?

You have surgery in a hospital. You get an infection at the point of surgery. Who should pay to provide your medical treatment for this Hospital Acquired Infection? 

You would expect the hospital to pay all these costs as they do for people covered under a government health plan. This has been the law since 2007. 

If you have private, commercial insurance, you and your insurance will pay the hospital to provide care for your infection. In other words, the hospital that caused your infection during a procedure will be paid twice. 

  • You and your insurance company would pay the hospital for the original surgery. 
  • You and your insurance company would pay the hospital again for treating the infection that hospital staff had caused. 

With infections, there are two standards. If you have a government plan, the hospital must absorb the cost of care. If you have private insurance, you and your insurance company must absorb the cost of care.

When you repair a car and, on the way home it stalls out, who should pay to fix it? The car repair shop, of course. When you find damage on a coat you just picked up at the drycleaner, who should pay to fix it? Or replace it? The drycleaner, of course. You wouldn’t expect to pay the car repair shop or the drycleaner.

How to solve this problem

State legislators should copy the current laws regulating government health plans regarding hospital acquired infections. It’s that simple. They should require hospitals to pay for their own mistakes so that private health insurance companies and you can quit paying claims from hospital acquired infections.

Remarkably, not only would it help reduce the cost of insurance premiums, it would also improve the quality of medical care. With a financial motive hanging over them, hospitals clamp down on medical staff, requiring additional measures to protect against infections.