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New Jersey bill would require reporting of "never" events

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New Jersey’s 73 acute care hospitals currently report errors under the confidential system created by a 2004 law. But a new bill making its way through the legislature would make some data available online to the public, covering 14 serious medical errors or failings (AARP Bulletin). In September, when the health department’s annual hospital performance report is due out, consumers could find a hospital-by-hospital list of those errors. The list would not include information about patient outcomes or identify the patients or doctors involved, however.

Among the 14 indicators:
• surgery on the wrong side or body part;
• foreign items left in the body after surgery;
• postoperative hip fracture;
• postsurgical hemorrhage and infection;
• accidental puncture;
• pulmonary embolism;
• blood transfusion problems.

The bill also prevents hospitals and responsible doctors from charging for treatment to repair their mistakes. The concept was borrowed from Medicare, which no longer pays to fix certain medical errors.

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