The federal government has recently proposed a new system to gather information and report the frequency of medical mistakes and unsafe practices in the healthcare industry. The American Hospital Association claims to be open to the idea, but has also expressed concerns that patients may not accurately be able to report their medical conditions.
The initiative addresses concerns that many negative experiences in the healthcare field go unreported by the patients and by health care administrators. If the pilot project is cleared by the White House, health officials hope to start collecting information in May 2013. Questionnaires would be made available at kiosks in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Fliers describing the project would be given out at pharmacies and mailed to patients’ homes with the explanation of benefits typically sent to patients by their insurance companies. Reporting would be both voluntary and confidential.
While such a system would be useful, especially in areas like Texas with extreme tort reform in the area of medical malpractice, it seems likely that hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers will oppose the plan, given its potential to demonstrate the frequency of medical malpractice.