Report ups medical error death toll

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 16, 2004

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

A recent study of Medicare patients by Health Grades Inc., a Colorado-based health care quality consultant, reported that some 195,000 deaths in the United States are attributable to in-hospital medical errors.

The AMA, which disputes the accuracy of the Institute of Medicine's estimate that 44,000 to 98,000 die as a result of medical errors, took issue with the Health Grades study, but noted that working to pass the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act was a priority of the Association.

In a statement, AMA Immediate Past President Donald J. Palmisano, MD, said: "The AMA strongly supports research that improves patient safety, but a recent report from the for-profit company Health Grades was not peer reviewed, and the authors themselves recognize the flaws in their methodology, which relies on claims data that have inherent limitations, including not being able to explain complex situations or make cause-and-effect connections."

Samantha Collier, MD, Health Grades' vice president of medical affairs, said the company chose to self-publish the study to get the information out to the public more quickly. She said the release also was timed to coincide with the announcement of its Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety to have a balance of positive and negative news.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn