Improving Quality Patient Outcomes A Money Loser For Hospitals

Evan Albright | Forbes | April 17, 2013

Surgical patients who have complications generate better margins for hospitals, a new study  in the Journal of American Medical Association has found.

Cue the outrage from the consumer media about “profit-hungry hospitals.”

The New York Times story on the study, though balanced, carried an unfortunate headline, “Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds,” which at best suggests that hospitals don’t want to improve quality of care because it will directly hurt their bottom line, and at worst, implies that hospitals may encourage poor care to generate high profits, an assertion that is akin to saying The New York Times encourages terrorism, because its website generates more traffic during a calamity.