Monday, October 13, 2008

In New Hampshire, Medical Errors Need Not Be Reported

Two articles in the Union Leader this week report on the fact that in New Hampshire, hospitals are not required to report medical errors, or as the article calls them, "never events."
"...unlike 27 other states, New Hampshire does not require hospitals to report serious, preventable medical errors to the state, to the patient or to the family left behind if the patient dies as a result of the mistake."
The issue has come to a head now that the federal government and NH's largest insurer have stopped paying hospitals for these medical errors. For more on state reporting of medical errors and reimbursements in NH, read the article: In-hospital errors kill thousands in U.S., but go unreported in New Hampshire.

A second article, NH hospitals not required to publicize mistakes, goes into more depth on the subject including considering state legislation to require reporting of medical errors. An advocacy group called Patient Voices is pushing for such a law to act as a system of checks and balances. New Hampshire is the only New England state without such a system.

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