Avoidable medical injuries cost almost $20 billion: report

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Preventable medical mishaps cost the U.S. economy $19.5 billion in 2008, according to a study commissioned by the Society of Actuaries. Errors related to pressure ulcers were the most expensive, with an estimated cost of just under $4 billion. "Of the $19.5 billion in total costs, approximately $17 billion was the result of providing inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug services to individuals who were affected by medical errors,” said Jim Toole, managing director of MBA Actuaries Inc.