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Weak patchwork of oversight lets bad hospitals stay open

New York Times, December 8, 2008

It can be very difficult to close or shrink U.S. hospitals, even when there is evidence they are providing costly and below-average care. Unlike some other nations, the United States has no federal agency charged with hospital oversight. Instead, it relies on a patchwork of state health departments and the Joint Commission that sets basic quality standards for the nation. Hospitals are rarely closed or hit with significant financial penalties for hurting patients.