California Hospitals Must Begin Disclosing Serious Errors to Regulators
Between July 2007 and May 2008, California hospitals reported 1,002 adverse events to state regulators, complying with a 2006 law requiring the disclosure of 28 different types of preventable mistakes that result in substantial patient injury, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The state Department of Public Health has fined 10 hospitals $25,000 each for the adverse events, which can include patient deaths during labor, medication errors, suicide attempts and sexual assaults.
About 100 California patients per month are being injured because of adverse events that are considered preventable, according to DPH data.
DPH has until 2015 to begin posting the information online, although officials said they hope to publish it earlier, the Times reports.
In April, Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) introduced a bill (AB 2146) that would restrict health care providers from seeking payment for adverse events that the hospitals must report to the state.
Hospital and physician associations objected that the bill could result in the denial of payment even when the events were not their fault or occurred when they were resolving an issue caused by another physician.
Feuer then re-wrote the bill so that only Medi-Cal would no longer reimburse hospitals for some errors that CMS also will not reimburse.
Beginning in October, CMS will no longer reimburse hospitals for treatment resulting in eight types of adverse events, including bedsores, objects left in patients and infections caused during surgery or from catheters (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 6/30).