Despite Significant Death Toll, Trump Administration Rule Change Could Stop Public Reporting of Hospital Infections


It’s simply important data for everyone in this country, and the Trump Administration is proposing of getting rid of it, despite no alleged lobbying from Hospital groups. Currently, hospitals must disclose publically the “super bug” MRSA, post-operative sepsis and surgical site infections, as well as a range of injuries and accidents from bedsores to post-operative respiratory failure. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed plan, part of a complicated five hundred page rule, would halt this public disclosure.

To put this into perspective, it is a fact that more than 600,000 hospital patients contract an infection, and sepsis alone kills approximately 270,000 people per year. The point of such reporting is to increase transparency, public awareness, and by default, patient safety. It is strange that CMS is lobbying for decreased hospital transparency, and a lack thereof will make it easier for the governing bodies of hospitals to ignore such outbreaks, and for the public to remain completely unaware that they even occurred.

As stated to USA Today, “The public should be concerned whenever there is a national effort in health care to withhold information, to not provide us with accurate information about hospital infections and other harms, or to otherwise adversely impact transparency," says infection control expert Larry Muscarella, who owns LFM Healthcare Solutions and the blog Discussions in Infection Control. "In my opinion, such efforts are suspect unless independently documented to improve patient care and reduce spiraling costs.”