Healthcare Bills Fail to Adequately Address Medical Errors

While it’s understandable that the pending healthcare bills focus on addressing the lack of health insurance for many Americans, an important issue in healthcare has been largely ignored, namely, medical errors. None of the proposals currently before Congress adequately address the problem of medical errors. It’s estimated that medical errors account for 200,000 deaths in the United States each year. Yet, there’s little interest in addressing mandatory reporting of medical errors that’s been shown to improve the quality of medical care and reduce unnecessary deaths.
Senators Chris Dodd and Joseph Lieberman have both strongly endorsed the mandatory reporting of medical errors but their voices have been largely ignored.
“A national reporting system is an excellent idea,” Lieberman said. “It could easily and constructively be included in a health-care reform package. Disclosure … is a deterrent to further medical errors, and we learn from disclosure.”