The Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog

Why is There Opposition to the Public Reporting of Medical Errors?

Posted by Peter Heed on July 23, 2013

It seems to me that the documentation and reporting of medical errors, particularly the so-called "never events", should receive unanimous approval from the government and all those involved in the healthcare industry.  Yet, the Huffington Post has reported that the American Hospital Association is lobbying Congress to stop such reporting.  The Association claims that the documentation and reporting is not done in a fair manner and may prejudice the public against certain healthcare institutions.

The Huffington Post notes, "Purchasers continually fight this effort to suppress reporting. The best-known and most well-respected national coalition of employers, unions and consumer advocates, the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, pleaded in a letter last year to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, "When it comes to patient safety, we simply cannot afford -- in either human or financial terms -- to delay or derail progress toward greater transparency and accountability. Nor can we wait until the arrival of perfect measures before addressing patient safety gaps in our health care system."

They're right.  The public deserves to know about these "never events".  It should seem obvious that public safety trumps all other concerns in this regard.

Peter Heed

Contact Peter Heed:
603-354-3000 or pheed@arbd.com

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