An analysis of more than 34,000 surgical discharges in 12 hospitals in the southern U.S. showed higher profit-per-patient was associated with complications after surgery. Whether or not there was a surgical complication, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that hospitals lost money when they cared for patients who paid for their own procedure or who were covered by Medicaid. "Medicare appears to have largely avoided rewarding hospitals financially for avoidable mistakes," an expert said.

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