Will your hospital bill you for its own mistake?
As I look at my state of residence there is nothing official to stop them from billing me for a medical error. Instead I am supposed to take comfort in the knowledge that they have adopted guidelines to deal with cases such as these. Unfortunately despite these wonderful guidelines the local hospital has in the recent past billed at least one individual for surgery on both of her knees, after initially operating on the wrong one. If nothing else, I can be assured that my insurance company will fight these charges with the same tenacity they fight legitimate ones. That's kind of comforting. . . not!
Mistakes of this kind are referred to by hospitals as "never events", a slightly ironic term since they seem to be happening rather often nowadays. Maybe we can lobby for better legislation and a name change to classify these occurrences as "never say never events". Before you initial your limb for surgery next time be sure to find out what mistakes, if any your state provides protection from.