WellPoint No Longer Paying for 11 Preventable Errors

April 4, 2008


On April 2, WellPoint announced it is following the lead of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which last year announced a plan to end payments for some medical mistakes, so-called "never events." WellPoint is changing its policy and halting reimbursement payments to hospitals and doctors for 11 medical errors that are considered preventable.

Under this announced policy change—which is expected to roll out across the nation this year—WellPoint said it will no longer provide payment for three errors:

  • A wrong surgery performed on a patient
  • Surgery on the wrong body part
  • Surgery on the wrong patient

WellPoint also said it will not provide payment to cover additional costs incurred by a health provider for eight other mistakes, such as bed sores, a sponge left in the body after surgery, and urinary tract infections associated with catheter use.

WellPoint is one of the largest commercial health insurers and provides benefits for over 35 million Americans. Visit Wellpoint's website.

Learn more about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "never events."