[ Friday, July 29, 2005 ]


About-to-be new legislation: The House and Senate have passed out a bill requiring the reporting and tracking of medical errors. You may recall that a few years ago, the Institutes of Medicine did a study that said that almost 100,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors in hospitals. I think the IOM's methodology in arriving at the number has some serious flaws, because it involved extrapolation and didn't account for other inputs resulting in mortality. Anyway, the report has now resulted in this legislation, which will almost certainly be signed by the President. The IOM report sought mandatory reporting of errors, but the soon-to-be new law urges voluntary reporting. We'll see if there's any impact.

Of particular HIPAA interest are specific provisions in the new law explicitly stating that the medical error report compiling organizations are BAs of the covered entities that report to them, and that the use of PHI in reporting and compiling are "healthcare operations."

UPDATE: wow, that was fast. Bush signed it this morning. It's now law.

Jeff [10:07 AM]

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