Case Management

CMW News: The Joint Commission, CMS not enough to keep hospitals safe

Case Management Weekly, December 10, 2008

The United States has difficulty penalizing or closing unsafe hospitals because it lacks a single federal agency in charge of overseeing them, says The New York Times.

The Joint Commission sets basic safety standards, but has only 1,000 employees while it accredits more than 17,000 hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities. Additionally, CMS’ new initiative to stop reimbursement for preventable errors, The Times argues, will not make enough of a difference to shrink or close unsafe hospitals.

In an effort to increase safety, some states, including New York, are passing legislation allowing committees or state Health Departments to oversee enforcement of  Joint Commission standards.

Sources: HealthLeaders Media, The New York Times

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