Medicare covers a wide range of medical services, but it doesn’t cover everything. That’s why it’s important for people covered by Medicare to be aware of “never events.” While these events are rare, they’re also serious and can result in high medical bills.
What is a “never event?”
It’s an error in medical care that is so preventable that it should never happen. For example, performing surgery on the wrong body part is a never event. So is leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body after surgery.
These errors can cause serious harm or even death to patients, and they’re costly to fix. Sometimes, patients who are the victims of never events have to get hospitalized for long periods of time or undergo additional surgeries. As a result, their medical bills can quickly add up.
Why doesn’t Medicare cover never events?
Never events are considered to be preventable, and therefore, they’re not covered by Medicare. That means that if you’re the victim of a never event, you could be stuck with a large medical bill. Medicare may cover some of the medical care related to a never event, but you may be responsible for paying a significant portion out of your own pocket. For instance, you may have to pay for hospitalization, additional surgeries or rehabilitation.
What can you do?
If you’re covered by Medicare and you’re worried about never events, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. First, make sure that you understand your coverage. Know what services and treatments are covered by Medicare and what it isn’t. For instance, you may want to purchase supplemental insurance to help cover the costs of never events.
Second, pay close attention to your medical care. If you have any concerns about the quality of care you’re receiving, don’t hesitate to speak up. You have a right to receive high-quality medical care.
Finally, know your rights. If you’re the victim of a never event, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. These claims can be complex, so it’s important to prepare yourself adequately if you’re considering this option.
The bottom line is that you should always be aware of the possibility of never events. By taking some simple precautions and preparing yourself, you can avoid these errors and, if they do happen, take steps to protect your rights, health and safety.