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New Resources on Adverse Events in Hospitals

OIG report The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General(OIG) has just released two new reports on adverse events in hospitals.  These are the start of a series of reports that the OIG will be issuing to Congress to comply with the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.   The Act mandates that OIG keep Congress up to date on the incidence of adverse events among Medicare beneficiaries, the payments associated with care related to the adverse events, and the processes for identifying and denying payments for such events.

The first, entitled Adverse Events in Hospitals: Overview of Key issues, identifies seven areas of importance for understanding the "landscape" of these events.  In addition, the report identifies strategies for reducing the incidence of adverse events.  The findings are based on interviews with a vast array of stakeholders.

The second, Adverse Events in Hospitals: State Reporting Systems, outlines the existing State programs and how the States use the data they collect.  As of January 2008, 26 States had implemented reporting systems and another one was in the works.  Twenty three of the States use their systems to hold hospitals accountable, while 18 use the data to promote learning and prevent adverse events.

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