Monday, July 26, 2004

Patient safety, quality bill heads to conference

Thanks to AHLA's Health Law Highlights for this summary of last week's events on the long-delayed patient safety and quality bill:
The Senate approved July 22 legislation intended to improve patient safety by promoting medical error reporting (Congressional Record). The "Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act" would encourage voluntary error reporting by protecting patient safety data from disclosure so that healthcare providers could report medical errors without fear of being sued. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unanimously approved S. 720 last year, while the House passed a similar bill in March 2003 (H.R. 663). [In parliamentary terms, the Senate incorporated S.720 in H.R. 663, as an amendment and then passed H.R. 663. So now the two versions of H.R. 663 go to conference to be reconciled.] The legislation was prompted by a 1999 Institute of Medicine Report [To Err Is Human] that found as many as 98,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.

posted by tommayo, 11:07 AM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter