DHCS Withholding Information on California Hospital Sanctions
In the past 13 months, the California Department of Health Care Services has withheld nearly $750,000 in Medi-Cal reimbursements from 66 hospitals over medical errors, but public health officials have not disclosed the alleged mistakes or which hospitals have been penalized, HealthyCal reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Norman Williams, a spokesperson for DHCS, said the information has been withheld to protect patient privacy.
However, the state Department of Public Health has been able to post information on actions taken against hospitals while protecting patient privacy by redacting any personal data, according to HealthyCal.
Patient safety advocates say that DHCS should publicly release more information on the hospital sanctions.
Julia Hallisy, president of the San Francisco-based Empowered Patient Coalition, said, "Anybody who knows that the patients they're working with are informed and empowered and are asking hard questions ... is going to up their game," adding, "That's the whole idea behind the Affordable Care Act's emphasis on transparency."
However, Martin Makary, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University, said some data should be held back from the public because it can be misleading (Richard, HealthyCal, 10/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.