Governor Rejects Bill Expanding Disclosure of Hospital Infections
On Friday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed legislation seeking to require hospitals to disclose more information about infection and mortality rates, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The bill would have created an independent panel to:
- Determine what health care quality data to publicize;
- Order health care facilities to provide data; and
- Charge facilities for the costs of administering the state's transparency efforts.
The bill would have required the panel of consumers, companies and employees to publish infection rates at individual hospitals by 2010.
The veto appeases the California Hospital Association, which endorsed Schwarzenegger's health care reform plan contingent on transparency provisions that were "reasonable, valid and meaningful." CHA argued that the bill did not fit these criteria.
Schwarzenegger's health care reform plan reduces the role of the proposed transparency panel. Under the plan, the panel would submit recommendations to the governor's administration and leave any action up to the administration.
Kim Belshé, secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency, said the governor's proposal struck the right "balance" and would go "far beyond what the state has done so far" (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 10/14).