But in another letter to the Senate Finance Committee June 26, Binder says, the hospital lobby seemed to say something much different about the measures CMS wants to display for public view.
"Meanwhile, before the ink was dry on its letter to CMS complaining about the imperfection of measures and requesting delays, AHA was quick to submit testimony to the Senate about its commitment to public reporting — as long as it's on its own terms.
AHA's testimony asks for fewer measures to be publicly reported, and although the lack of progress nationally on patient safety is well established, the testimony reports glowing achievements by some of its member hospitals in improving on several important measures of performance. Ironically, the important measures it touts to Congress are among the same ones it tells CMS aren't good enough for public reporting."
In a phone conversation this week, I asked Binder what she really wants to happen now.
"I want hospitals to keep publicly reporting," she replies. "And I want more data. A lot more data." Like on medication errors. That, she says, "is the elephant in the living room."
"Medication errors are the number one most common error in hospitals. Estimates are it happens one time every day for every inpatient. That's a lot of errors and a lot of harm."