BCBSNC Adopts Policies to Improve Hospital Patient Safety, Reduce Medical Errors

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) today announces the adoption of a formalized policy to improve hospital patient safety and quality as well as reduce costly medical errors.
 
Under this policy, hospitals will not be reimbursed for adverse patient events identified by the National Quality Forum if the error was preventable by the hospital. Such events include procedures that are performed on the wrong side of the body, at the wrong site, or on the wrong person.
 
The policy on medical error billing was developed after consultation with the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) and the North Carolina Quality Center and incorporates principles promoted by those organizations for hospitals. 
 
“These new guidelines will effectively move us forward to improve the quality and safety of medical services for patients throughout North Carolina,” said Don Bradley, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, BCBSNC.
 
BCBSNC, the State’s largest health insurer, provides a portion of the financial support for the North Carolina Quality Center, helping fund a number of patient safety initiatives. These initiatives include efforts among more than 100 North Carolina hospitals to implement quality improvement measures and improve patient safety. The Center is also working on an initiative for hospitals to confidentially report adverse patient events under the new federal Patient Safety Organization regulations. The Center will analyze these events to assist hospitals in developing best practices to improve systems of care and patient safety.
 
 
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 76 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at www.bcbsnc.com.
 
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