Connecticut hospital fined $150K over cancer misdiagnoses

CMS fined Yale New Haven Health's Bridgeport (Conn.) Hospital $150,000 after the facility mixed up eight patients' test specimens, leading to several cancer misdiagnoses, reports The Middletown Press.

State health inspectors identified the medical errors during an unannounced inspection in July 2018. In one situation, a 41-year-old woman chose to have a hysterectomy after incorrect pathology results led her to believe she had cancer. In another case, physicians told a 66-year-old patient his lab results were normal when a malignancy existed, according to a state inspection report cited by The Middletown Press.

CMS prohibited Bridgeport Hospital from performing cytology testing and stopped reimbursing the facility for the testing, effective Nov. 29, 2018. The hospital now outsources all cytology testing to Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital. Bridgeport Hospital must secure CMS' approval before resuming any in-house cytology testing.

"Even in the best organizations, medical errors occur. When they do, our obligation is to acknowledge them, learn from them and ensure that we minimize any chance that they ever occur again," Dana Marnane, director of communications for Yale New Haven Health, told The Middletown Press. "We took the results of the investigation very seriously and made changes to significantly improve our lab processes. We offered our heartfelt apologies and have pledged to do better in the future."

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