Following an outcry from patient safety advocates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) scrapped a plan that would have largely eliminated the requirement that hospitals report infection rates. The new rule announced last week maintains the practice of mandatory reporting for hospitals and public disclosure of the data.
Leah Binder, CEO of the Leapfrog Group, says her hospital safety advocacy organization met with CDC officials to stress the value of the federal agency’s commitment to maintaining transparency in the healthcare field.
“The final rule, while not perfect, lives up to that commitment,” Binder told USA Today. “They took a bold stance to protect the public, and we appreciate that.”
As before, data relating to infection rates and other patient safety measures will be freely shared on the government’s Hospital Compare website.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) had pushed for changes to the reporting rules, suggesting the data collection was burdensome for healthcare facilities. Although infection rate reporting remains in place, the organization still praised the new rule for other tweaks, including official revocation of the “25 Percent Rule” for long-term care hospitals. The rule previously capped the number of patients a long-term care hospital could admit from an individual general acute care hospital without incurring reduced Medicare reimbursements.
“There are a number of policies CMS finalized today that will reduce regulatory burden and help ensure America’s hospitals and health systems can continue to provide high-quality, efficient care for the patients and communities they serve,” Tom Nickels, executive vice president with AHA, said in a statement.
(Main image credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire, via Associated Press)
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