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Hospitals Profit from Surgical Complications

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hospitals may make more money when a surgical procedure leads to complications, according to a new study.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, determined that hospitals experience significantly higher profit margins when complications follow surgery.

According to the study, hospitals see a 330-percent increase in profit margin when privately insured patients experience complications. Comparatively, Medicare patients who experience problems after surgery offer hospitals a 190-percent larger profit margin.

The study concluded that lower rates of surgical complications would actually cost hospitals financially.

The study analyzed hospital records from over 30,000 surgical patients from a non-profit hospital system in the southern United States in 2010. Researchers focused on 10 severe and preventable complications to determine how much the hospitals profited from each patient.

According to the study, $400 billion is spent in surgical procedures each year. Nearly 2,000 cases with at least one complication were discovered in the study.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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