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Hospital safety inspections are not available to a public that must make decisions about their own hospital choices. The article below is from Axios, a blog form of “new journalism,” that has wide readership among business persons and legislators. With the advent of the Medicare-Compare system of hospital comparison, previous practices of concealing deficiencies and violations have come under fire from:

• Axios (below) where they note that The Joint Commission (the premier voluntary accrediting group for hospitals) rarely revokes approval even when serious lapses occur.
• The Wall Street Journal where a front-page article printed scathing criticism of TJC allowing hospitals a “gold seal of approval” at the same time that hospital had lost Medicare approval because of violations.
• Federal Government, Health and Human Services and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where it was proposed in April that inspection reports were being considered to be publicly available. This measure was withdrawn until Congressional approval could be obtained.
• Hospital—bringing transparency to Federal Inspections—a website run by the Association of Healthcare Journalists, where Q&A can be found. Q&A for hospital safety

No service provider – school, restaurant or hospital – looks forward to inspections with public discussions of deficiencies, but unsafe practices and shabby maintenance are less likely to be fixed if kept under wraps. The CHS euphemism for deficiencies – “opportunities for improvement” – is no doubt the bright side of “dirty and dingy.” But having too many of those opportunities is what separates a Medicare-Compare 2 star hospital from those with 4 stars. And, if governments have regulations that demand inspections, then the public has a right to see those results and plans immediately to fix what is wrong.

Hospitals keep accreditation even when safety lapses arise
Source: Bob Herman: From AXIOS…

The Joint Commission rarely revokes accreditations, even when hospitals have serious or lethal patient safety lapses, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation. One hospital in Massachusetts kept its accredited status in 2014 even though the federal government said poor patient care led to the deaths of three babies within months.

Why it matters: The Joint Commission is one of the largest agencies that ensures hospitals are providing good, safe care. If the organization ignores federal violations, then “accreditation is basically meaningless,” Harvard researcher Ashish Jha told the WSJ.

One step further: There’s also an element of the “fox guarding the henhouse.” Most Joint Commission board members work at health systems that pay for accreditation.