KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Despite Serious Safety Issues, Hospital Watchdog Didn’t Change Its Rating Of Facility

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal finds that the Joint Commission, which is the accrediting organization for almost 80 percent of U.S. hospitals, typically takes no action to revoke or modify accreditation when state inspectors find serious safety violations. Meanwhile, an expert talks to Politico about hospitals and health care spending.

The Wall Street Journal: Hospital Watchdog Gives Seal Of Approval, Even After Problems Emerge
Patient-safety problems were so serious at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., that the federal Medicare agency threatened to cut it off. Most patients never knew. Two babies died within six weeks in late 2013 and early 2014. That was just a couple of months after a pregnant woman died when the hospital didn’t ensure she was treated for high blood pressure from a condition called pre-eclampsia, according to a federal inspection report. (Armour, 9/8)

And in news from the states —

Boston Globe: Humane Treatment Comes At Last To Bridgewater State Hospital, Where Prisoners Have Become ‘Persons Served’
In April, a private firm hired by the Baker administration replaced almost all the guards at Bridgewater State Hospital with a specially trained security force, along with psychiatrists and other clinicians equipped to provide more humane methods of handling distressed patients. ... Five months in, the results are remarkable, beyond the imagining of mental health advocates. (Rezendes, 9/8)

KCUR: KU Hospital Denies Patient's Allegations Of Cancer Misdiagnosis And Cover-Up 
The University of Kansas Hospital is denying allegations by a patient that it wrongly diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer and then covered it up. In an answer filed this week, the hospital says that many of the allegations made by Wendy Ann Noon Berner “reference undisputable hearsay and speculation, and many would arguably constitute defamation” if they were not part of a lawsuit. (Margolies, 9/8)

Boston Globe: Former Medical Center Site Said To Have No Takers
Boston-area health care providers have not shown interest in locating their operations at the former Quincy Medical Center site, according to its owner, who had hoped to have a reuse plan for the property before the end of the year. FoxRock Properties, a Quincy commercial real estate firm that bought the former hospital in December 2016, has been marketing the property to health care providers, but they have told FoxRock that the complex is too old and outdated, company representative Chet Clem told more than 50 people at a recent neighborhood meeting. (Terreri Ramos, 9/8)

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