Ceja explained why in an e-mail response: "CMS' efforts to make plans of correction available in a national, searchable electronic database are suspended indefinitely until there is more clarity with respect to the federal budget. Development of such capability requires a multi-year effort and design safeguards that can adequately maintain security in a system that imports data from thousands of external parties."
Ornstein said the journalism association has also put pressure on The Joint Commission to release results of its accreditation surveys of hospitals. "Given the government's steps to increase transparency around these vital reports, we once again call on The Joint Commission to do the same," Ornstein said in a letter March 13 to TJC president Mark Chassin, MD.
"In our previous exchanges, you have expressed concerns that the public release of The Joint Commission's inspection reports would compromise your efforts to improve hospital quality," he wrote. "The AHCJ board cannot accept the notion that patients are best protected by keeping hospital problems secret. Such reasoning also flies in the face of growing consensus among healthcare leaders and policy makers about the importance of transparency to improve medical care quality."
A spokeswoman for TJC, Elizabeth Zhani, who also attended the journalism meeting, said that Chassin is studying the AHCJ's request.
Funding for the AHCJ's website was provided by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.