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California Healthline Daily Edition

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PATIENT SAFETY: Move to Mandate Nurse Staffing Disclosure

      Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) re-introduced legislation yesterday that would mandate public disclosures of nursing staff levels, provide protection for nurse whistleblowers who report unsafe conditions and require health care mergers "to be reviewed by HHS for their impact on patient health and safety." Reid and registered nurse Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) said they would let the Patient Safety Act, which has the backing of the American Nurses Association, stand apart from the barrage of managed care bills currently on the Hill. "It has merit to stand on its own," Reid said, adding that he would seek to attach the bill to "any future bill that comes to the Senate floor." He said, "A consumer in the market to buy a car can easily access critical safety and quality information. Health care consumers have the right to learn this type of information about health care facilities" (Rovner/Morrissey, CongressDaily/A.M., 5/13).

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