The federal government has issued various orders that hold that Medicare won’t pay for services provided due to “never events.” So what is a never event? Things like forgotten equipment (clamps, sponges) or wrong-site surgery.
If is seems incredible that these events keep occurring, it is. There are best practices to prevent them. We know, for example, that a proper time-out at the time of surgery, marking the correct surgical site (and the WRONG surgical site!), can prevent wrong site surgery. Yet, when facilities take those time-outs for granted, or treat them as unimportant, wrong site surgery can occur. After all, when draped and prepped, a left-hand’s ring finger can look a lot like the right hand’s ring finger.
What can you do to protect yourself? Ask how the facility will be marking where they are operating. Ask to mark the other (hand/knee/foot/finger/etc.) with NO!! or WRONG!!
Operating on the wrong body part is a “never event.” If this happens to you or a loved one, please give us a call.