Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Medicare Stops Reporting Some Hospital Errors

Published on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:20 am in Medical Malpractice.

In a move that seems confusing to say the least, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has stopped publicly reporting when hospitals leave foreign objects in patients, along with other serious mistakes.

These errors are part of a list of what are called “Hospital-Acquired Conditions” (HACs) which are considered preventable. According to CMS, Hospital-Acquired Conditions are “conditions that patients did not have when they were admitted to the hospital, but which developed during the hospital stay. “

The government-operated Hospital Compare website lists how often many HACs occurred at acute care hospitals, where patients stay up to 25 days recovering from serious injuries or illnesses. USA Today has reported that last summer, CMS removed the data on leaving foreign objects and seven other HACs from the Hospital Compare website. CMS did leave the data on another site, in a format available to those who knew what the reporting meant. Then, as of August of this year, the data on those eight HACs is no longer available anywhere. According to USA Today, “Now researchers have to calculate their own rates using claims data.”

CMS is still reporting the occurrence for 13 other Hospital-Acquired Conditions, including infections, such as sepsis after surgery. According to CMS, the change is intended to provide data that is “more comprehensive and most relevant to consumers.” Proponents say the new data uses different, “more reliable” measures than the removed measures, which they believe are not useful when comparing hospitals.

Patient advocates disagree. According to USA Today, the HACs that are no longer reported, are rare events that should never happen in hospitals, which advocates argue are all the more important for the public to know about.

“People deserve to know if the hospital down the street from them has had a disastrous event and should be able to judge for themselves whether that’s a reasonable indicator of the safety of that hospital,” Leah Binder, CEO of the nonprofit Leapfrog Group, told USA Today.

Furthermore, although the advisory panel that approved the change includes consumer and patient advocates, there is evidence that the whole process is so confusing some of them didn’t know what they were voting for.

One member of the advisory group became active in hospital safety after her son died from surgery complications in 2000. She told USA Today that she thought some members thought they were voting to strengthen, not weaken the reporting system:

“When we voted, I certainly didn’t think it would result in the (hospital acquired conditions) being removed from Hospital Compare.”

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

What You Need to Know About Business Litigation and Contingency Fees

If your business has ever been involved in a legal matter, you may be surprised to hear the two phrases together: business litigation and contingency fees. Traditionally, it has been more common to associate a contingency fee model with personal injury law involving individual parties rather than businesses. But this is no longer always the […]

Read More

Signs of PTSD in Military Service Members

It’s estimated that up to one-third of military service members suffer from PTSD. PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can develop following a traumatic event. This usually means an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or abuse. People who have seen combat, witnessed death, or experienced a life-threatening situation […]

Read More

AAA Conducts Study Examining Travel Before and During COVID-19

In 2021, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s New American Driving Survey revealed shifts in driving, traveling, and commuting patterns in the United States. The statistics gathered between July 2019 and December 2020 cannot be analyzed without consideration of COVID-19’s unignorable impact on the numbers—numbers showing marked differences from previous years’ findings.

Read More