House Commerce Committee Approves Bill To Create Medical Error Data Collection System
The House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday approved by voice vote a bill that would establish a medical error data collection system as a way to control medical errors, National Journal News Service reports. The bill, approved yesterday with "little debate," would create patient safety organizations to analyze reported mistakes and offer feedback on avoiding medical errors in the future. The bill also includes confidentiality provisions for both those reporting the errors and those who committed the alleged errors (Posner, National Journal News Service, 9/25). The measure also includes two grant programs that would "encourage" use of electronic prescriptions and ask hospitals to "integrate information technology" to prevent errors (CongressDaily/AM, 9/25). Committee Chair Billy Tauzin (R-La.) said it is "alarming" that "we don't appear to be properly accounting for all of the numerous medical errors that occur in every health care setting every day or taking the appropriate steps to reduce their occurrence." The committee also approved an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), that would call for HHS to include an urban academic medical center, a rural hospital, a community hospital and a community health center in "developing voluntary standards for promoting information systems involved in health care," National Journal News Service reports. The bill, which is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians and other medical groups, now needs to be "reconciled" with a similar bill (HR 4889) approved last week by the House Ways and Means Committee (National Journal News Service, 9/25).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.