KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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CMS Considers Making Confidential Reports On Hospital Safety Public

The inspection information offers detailed descriptions of hospitals' errors and mistakes. Meanwhile, a study finds that a simple post-surgery checklist can save lives.

ProPublica: Secret Hospital Inspections May Become Public At Last
The public could soon get a look at confidential reports about errors, mishaps and mix-ups in the nation's hospitals that put patients' health and safety at risk, under a groundbreaking proposal from federal health officials. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to require that private health care accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the steps being taken to fix them. Nearly nine in 10 hospitals are directly overseen by those accreditors, not the government. (Ornstein, 4/18)

The Washington Post: A Simple Checklist Prevents Deaths After Surgery, A Large New Study Suggests
Surgery checklists save lives, a study released Monday found. Hospitals in South Carolina that completed a voluntary, statewide program to implement the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist had a 22 percent reduction in post-surgical deaths. The study, set to publish in the August 2017 issue of Annals of Surgery, is one of the first to show a large-scale impact of the checklist on the general population. (Naqvi, 4/18)

And in other news —

California Healthline: California Hospitals Lose Ground In Quality Of Care, Report Card Shows
Nearly half of California hospitals received a grade of C or lower for patient safety on a national report card aimed at prodding medical centers to do more to prevent injuries and deaths. The Leapfrog Group, an employer-backed nonprofit group focused on health care quality, issued its latest scores last week. The report card is part of an effort to make consumers and employers aware of how their hospitals perform on key quality measures, so they can make better-informed health care decisions. The scores are updated twice a year, in spring and fall. (Terhune, 4/18)

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