Wednesday, November 24, 2010

State Health Regulators Urge Some Hospitals To Recheck Error Reporting

California health officials are urging 87 hospitals that have not reported a serious medical error in more than three years to recheck their records, the Ventura County Star reports.

A state law that took effect in 2007 requires hospitals to report any of 28 designated adverse medical events.

In October, state Department of Public Health officials sent notifications to the nonreporting hospitals in an attempt to ensure that administrators understand what qualifies as adverse event and their responsibility to report such errors.

The state told nonreporting hospitals that they have until the end of November to submit amended claims and report errors. Hospitals that report errors could receive a $100 per day fine dating back to when the adverse event occurred.

The nonreporting hospitals also could sign an attestation indicating that none of the designated medical errors have occurred.

Health Care Stakeholders Respond

Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, expressed concern about the state's request for signed attestation. He said the state should "educate the hospital as opposed to setting them up for follow-up legal action." Lott added that some hospitals might not understand the reporting requirement.

Meanwhile, Anthony Wright of Health Access California praised the state's efforts to take a closer look at hospitals that have not reported any medical errors. Wright suggested that hospitals that have not experienced any adverse events should share their safety strategies with other facilities (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 11/17).

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