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Actuaries tabulate medical error costs

Sponsored by the Society of Actuaries, a new report by Milliman, Inc., estimates the costs of medical errors in the U.S. at $19.5 billion in 2008. The majority of this amount (about 87 percent) represents the medical costs of providing additional inpatient, outpatient, and prescription drug services to persons affected by medical errors. The report also identifies indirect costs of approximately $1.4 billion related to increased mortality rates among individuals who experience medical errors and approximately $1.1 billion arising from lost productivity due to related short-term disability claims.

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