Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) has vowed to introduce legislation that would improve patient safety by making the reporting of medical errors mandatory. Rep. Braley made the announcement during a news conference in which he was flanked by victims of medical malpractice.
The 1999 Institute of Medicine’s study To Err is Human, noted that medical errors cost the American taxpayer $17-29 billion annually and take lives of 98,000 Americans each year.
Rep. Braley is focusing his efforts on patient safety and has stated his opposition to caps on medical malpractice damages because they interfere with patients’ rights. During his news conference, Braley stated that it’s “important to give another side of the story and talk about the real human cost of medical errors.”
Braley has said that he’d like to introduce medical error reporting legislation separate from the impending healthcare reform bill so that medical error reporting receives proper focus and attention.
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