HHS Report Calls for Better Hospital Error Tracking Plans
In a new report, HHS' Office of Inspector General called on Medicare inspectors to improve how they report hospital errors to CMS and ratings agencies. State survey and certification agencies are tasked with monitoring immediate and serious complaints -- such as surgical fires and wrong-patient surgeries -- and with reporting those errors to CMS so it can assess efforts to correct the problem and determine whether it should continue to work with the hospital. HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson said that failure to report errors allows hospitals to continue to participate in the Medicare program without taking steps to correct mistakes. Levinson also recommended asking state agencies to monitor hospital improvements.
- "Medicare Report: Improve Tracking of Serious Hospital Errors" (Kennedy, USA Today, 11/1).