State Files Legal Papers Backing Requirement on Infection Reporting
In response to a legal challenge by the California Hospital Association, the state attorney general's office recently filed legal documents contending that hospitals must file monthly reports on infections linked to 29 types of surgeries, California Watch reports.
The filing is the latest development in a legal dispute between CHA and state health officials over a 2008 state law (SB 1058) that requires hospitals to file detailed reports on post-surgery infections.
In May, CHA filed legal papers asking a San Francisco Superior Court judge to prevent the Department of Public Health from enforcing the infection reporting requirement.
Although a state advisory committee approved an earlier recommendation on infection reporting for two surgeries, theÂ panel has not approved the latest recommendationÂ on infection reporting for 29 procedures.
The hospital association said it supports public reporting of reliable data on hospital infections but wants to prevent the state from issuing an "underground regulation" that imposes a high burden on hospitals.
CHA said the additional reporting requirements are so complicated that they could affect patient care.
The association said it would like DPH to go through formal rulemaking procedures to establish the infection reporting requirement.
In its recent filing, the state attorney general's office contends that DPH does not need to adhere to a formal rulemaking process to require hospitals to file the monthly infection reports.
Attorneys for the state said the infection reporting regulations are based on a "legally tenable interpretation" of the 2008 law (Jewett, California Watch, 5/16).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.