A recent NPR article explores proposed regulations that would entail private health care accreditors making health facility inspections public. The intention of the proposed regulations is to promote patient safety. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) official stated “[we] believe it is important to continue to lead the effort to make information regarding a health care facility’s compliance with health and safety requirements.”
CMS has expressed concern that private accreditors do not notice or report upon “serious deficiencies” during their inspections. The NPR article cites a 2014 incident in which state officials reviewed 103 hospitals that had been reviewed by a private accreditation service in the past 60 days. The state officials indicated 41 serious deficiencies or issues with the reviewed hospitals. The private accreditors only flagged 2 of these 41 deficiencies in their inspections.
The American Hospital Association supports the change of this regulation in order to provide transparency to patients. Nancy Foster, Vice President of the American Hospital Association said that the additional transparency will be beneficial to consumers but added, “We are concerned that sharing a detailed report may not be the most useful or effective strategy for informing the public.”
Current reporting from private healthcare accreditors are sometimes made public but their reports are limited in both number and in the information provided. Healthcare officials hope that these new regulations will enforce compliance by medical service providers and decrease the “up to 98,000 people a year [who] die because of mistakes in hospitals”.
Read more at NPR.