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Americans go the hospital to get well, and most doctors, nurses and other health care providers work hard to deliver the best care possible, but there are still an alarming number of patients who are injured or die due to preventable medical mistakes. In fact, the Institute of Medicine reports that up to 98,000 patients die, each year, as a result of such events.

Preventing medical mistakes, helping patients heal more quickly, without complications, and avoiding readmissions to a hospital have become national priorities. In fact, these concerns will be addressed under a new initiative, "Partnership for Patients." The Obama Administration says the initiative will bring together leaders of major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with state and federal governments in a shared effort to improve the quality of care and patient safety, reduce costs, and eliminate preventable errors. It will target all forms of harm to patients such as preventing adverse drug reactions, pressure ulcers, childbirth complications and surgical site infections.

Roughly 100,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors. The Health and Human Services (HHS) says that at any given time, approximately 1 in every 20 patients has had an infection related to their hospital care, 1 in 7 Medicare beneficiaries is harmed in the course of care, and nearly 1 in 5 Medicare patients is readmitted within 30 days of discharge from the hospital. According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the goal is to cut preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent over the next three years, while, at the same time, reducing preventable readmissions by 20 percent. Sebelius says that this could result in 1.8 million fewer injuries, while saving more than 60,000 lives over that period.

“This is not just about improving health. By reducing medical errors, we are also going to bring down rising health insurance costs which have put a growing burden on families, businesses and government."

The patient initiative will be funded by the Affordable Care Act. More than 500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups and employers have already pledged their commitment to the new Partnership for Patients initiative. The goal is to have every hospital sign the Partnership for Patients’ pledge, but that is only the first step. Patients and their families must also be partners in this process. No hospital can achieve results alone; need direct interaction (partnering) with the patient is vital to the success of the project. To learn more about the Partnership for Patients Initiative, click here.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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