KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medical Mistakes, Doctor Ratings Gain State-Level Attention

In Wisconsin, the issue of access to reports on medical mistakes is part of a bill being considered in the state legislature. In Minnesota, physicians are seeking a delay to the plan to provide ratings based on cost and quality.  

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Access To Reports On Medical Mistakes Could Be Restricted
When something goes awry at a hospital, whether it harms a patient or not, doctors and nurses are expected to file an incident or occurrence report detailing what happened. The reports help hospitals determine what caused the incident and what safeguards can be put in place to prevent it from happening again. But the reports also can provide lawyers in malpractice lawsuits with an initial explanation of what happened to a patient. Whether those incident or occurrence reports should be confidential or subject to subpoena in a lawsuit or criminal investigation is one of the issues in a sweeping bill now before the Legislature (Boulton, 1/15).

Star Tribune: Minnesota Doctors Ask For Delay In Medica Ratings
A plan to rate thousands of Minnesota doctors on quality and cost, due to be published Wednesday, has drawn objections from the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) even before its release (Lerner, 1/17).

Meanwhile, a new study examines the distance that many people in the United States live from trauma centers.

Modern Healthcare: Study Analyzes Access To Trauma Centers
A significant part of the U.S. population - 38.4 million people - lives 30 miles or more away from a trauma center, according to a new study published in the Archives of Surgery. In addition, urban and rural communities with a higher proportion of African-Americans are more likely to have difficult access to a trauma center, as do areas with a high share of poor families, according to the study that appears in the January issue of the medical journal (Barr, 1/17).

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