Court Rulings Could Squelch Reports of Errors
The law was an outgrowth of the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine To Err is Human, which urged federal lawmakers to pass protection legislation that would encourage hospitals to embrace a blame-free culture of safety. Protected from legal discovery, they could correct system failures and make harmful events much less likely to recur.
To date, some 80 PSOs around the country have sprung up, and are working with hundreds of hospitals around the country.
But two Kentucky lower court judge decisions have limited the scope of those discovery protections just to something called "self-limiting analysis," or peer-review discussions involving an error, incident, safety issue, or near miss, which hospital attorneys say might be too narrowly defined or open to interpretation.
Data on infections, for example, intended for reporting to a PSO or an agency that deems hospitals worthy of Medicare reimbursement, could become discoverable, and therefore public.
"The Court of Appeals' addition of 'self-examining analysis' to the definition of PSWP abrogates the Act's privilege protections by re-defining and restricting the information that qualifies for the privilege," the Kentucky Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association said in a brief filed last week.
- CEO Exchange: Preparing for Population Health
- Advocate, NorthShore Deal Would Create 16-Hospital System
- Better HCAHPS Scores Protect Revenue
- 3 Strategies for Retaining Millennial Employees
- Narrow Networks Cut Costs, Not Quality, Economists Say
- Power of price: In South FL and the nation, healthcare costs often are shrouded in secrecy
- Two NY hospitals to offer free hip and knee replacement surgeries for qualifying patients in December
- Hospital mergers may lead to higher prices
- Healthcare data of 1 million NJ patients compromised since 2009
- CEO Exchange: Pressure is On to Partner, Drive Quality