CMS Unveils Hospital Violations Database

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , March 18, 2013

AHCJ uploaded CMS's responses to various questions about the database on a section of its website. For example, the agency explains the process that can result in a 2567. And it explains that state health department teams usually perform inspections at the request of CMS when a complaint seems serious enough to jeopardize federal reimbursement to a hospital.

Elizabeth Lietz, spokeswoman for the American Hospital Association who attended the meeting, said her organization was not told in advance by CMS that it was releasing this electronic database of 2567 documents.

The American Hospital Association plays down the value of having the public documents be more accesible. "Despite our hope that these data would help inform the public, the public has not found the data as useful as we anticipated... it is hard even for a seasoned healthcare policymaker to understand the CMS documents or thoughtfully apply them to making informed decisions," said Nancy Foster, quality and patient safety vice president of the American Hospital Association.

One important deficiency in the new electronic database is that hospitals' plans of correction—required if a hospital is to continue to receive reimbursement for care of Medicaid and Medicare patients—were not included because of technical difficulties. Those may still be provided to the public, but only through a federal or state information or public records act request.

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2 comments on "CMS Unveils Hospital Violations Database"

Susan Reese (3/19/2013 at 2:21 PM)
Bravo!! Maybe this will cause hospitals to take a look at their 'top-down' processes and begin their conversations with, How would that affect the nursing staff and patient care? Nurses are the 'eyes and ears' and 24/7 care provider. Ask any nurse if they have an idea how to reduce patient harm, the answer would be, yes! So, if this is true, why don't hospital administrators listen? Probably, because they haven't asked. A nurse can never say, "I can't take another patient right now because it would jepordize patient safety" or "No, I can't work another 4 hours on top of this 12-hour shift". Fatique and inadequate staffing are major contributors to situations which lead to patient harm. These comments are from a nurse with 30 year's of hospital experience

jsilver (3/18/2013 at 12:17 PM)
Long overdue! Hospitals must learn that they do not have a right to provide healthcare services- they are granted that right by the citizens of the states in which they provide services. The citizens have a right to know what's going on, and given the IOM report from 1999 showing that a fully loaded 747 is crashing every day in our country (98,000 lives a year) and that we now know that 2 747's are closer to that truth, CMS has both a moral and oversight repsonsibility to get this information out. CMS should TELL JCAHO what to do if they want to keep surveying hospitals, not ask. I applaud all the efforts by CMS to provide safe and effective care to all Americans. Dr. John Silver




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