This geographic signifier gathers content together on our site which is regarded as having national significance. That includes items at the federal level.
Consumers Union Documents
- Consumers Union petitions the FDA on drug safety
All too often, drug advertisements fail to present the benefits and risks of using prescription drugs in an accurate and balanced way.
- Legislation, 110th Congress
Hospital-acquired infection public reporting bills and antibiotic resistant protection and prevention bills under consideration in Congress.
- Read the text of HR 2900, the House drug safety bill
Read the text of key provisions of HR 2900, the House version of the drug safety bill now on its way to the floor for a vote. Your representative will get a chance to vote on this bill in July. Help us make sure he or she votes YES! The full bill can be viewed at www.thomas.gov by searching for the bill number HR 2900.
- HR 2900 continued
Section 603 through Section 901 of HR 2900.
- HR 2900 continued to end
Section 901 to the end, key sections of HR 2900. To view the full bill, visit www.thomas.gov and search for bill number HR 2900.
- Testimony of Jim Guest President, Consumers Union, before the House
On PDUFA, Risk Evaluation & Mitigation Strategies, Clinical Trials, and Advisory Committee Conflicts.
- Summary of Testimony of Jim Guest
On PDUFA, Risk Evaluation & Mitigation Strategies, Clinical Trials, and Advisory Committee Conflicts
- Putting patient safety first & fixing our drug safety system
Recent controversies surrounding the safety of highly advertised, blockbuster drugs have eroded Americans’ trust in our drug safety system.
- Battle for drug safety moves to House floor
A March 2007 Consumer Reports national poll found that more than 60 percent of Americans agree that the Food and Drug Administration and Congress have failed to adequately protect them from harmful prescription drugs.
- Text of S. 1082 Senate Drug Safety Bill
Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by Senate)
Consumers Union News Releases
- CDC publishes sobering stats on hospital infection
In a newly released study, the CDC estimates that there are 4.5 hospital infections for every 100 patient admissions and nearly 100,000 deaths from hospital infection. This long awaited assessment was published in the March-April 2007 journal, Public Health Reports and can be found on the CDC’s website.
- BOSTON, ORLANDO, DALLAS, SAN FRANCISCO and CHICAGO host meetings on hospital quality
If you are concerned about hospital quality, you have a chance to attend public meetings in Boston, Orlando, Dallas, San Francisco and Chicago in the months of April, May and June and let the federal government know what’s on your mind.
- House health reform bill tackles hospital infections
Our message caught on! A coalition of House Democrats have included public reporting of hospital-acquired infections in their reform bill (HR 3200), and reducing payment to hospitals that aren’t doing enough to prevent infections.
- Medicare releases data on hospital readmissions
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last Thursday that it has added readmission rates for more than 4,000 hospitals across the U.S to its Hospital Compare website. With proper care, most people should not have to go back to the hospital shortly after release. This is a key indicator of quality and varies a lot between hospitals.
- Preventing hospital infections would save lives—and billions
Hospital groups have reportedly agreed to smaller payments for Medicare and Medicaid services, and less reimbursement for caring for the uninsured, if and when health reform is enacted. So far, however, health care reform proposals have not sufficiently addressed a key aspect that would save money and the lives of thousands of patients: Preventing hospital infections.
- Patient Safety Activists Represent Consumers at Presidential Health Care Forum
Four patient safety activists – all who have been personally affected by medical harm – were among the 164 participants in ABC’s televised health care forum held with President Obama. Understandably, they came armed with questions but didn’t get to ask them. So we wanted to give them a chance to get their questions in front of the public and lawmakers here on this blog.
- VA officials get probed for using non-sterile instruments on patients
U.S. lawmakers held a hearing a few weeks ago to figure out why VA officials still weren’t following proper procedures for cleaning endoscopes that put more than 11,000 veteran patients at risk.
- Not Another Ten Years
Our new report “To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly” calls attention to the IOM’s unfulfilled call to action.
- Secretary Sebelius calls on hospitals to fight hospital-acquired infections
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, tells hospitals to take “basic steps to fight infections” that harm millions of patients every year and add billions to our nation’s health care costs.
- Watch these personal stories — Quality Care Saves Lives!
I’d like to point you to four brave patients, who debuted their videos to lawmakers at the Massachusetts State House and encouraged them to take an active role to improve patient safety.
- Medical Mistakes show on Oprah
Did you catch the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday about medical mistakes? She featured actor Dennis Quaid who recalled the series of hospital errors that nearly killed his newborn twins after they were given one thousand times the amount of the blood-thinning drug Heparin—twice.
- Patients Right to Know
Colorado Citizens for Accountability has launched its new patient safety website: PatientsRightToKnow.org. It contains a U.S. map where you can find out what physician background reporting is available in your state.
- Groups push for Congress to open hospital accreditation reports Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (Thursday September 8, 2011)
A coalition of state and national patient safety activists, including Consumers Union, are pressing Congress to open reports by The Joint Commission, a non-profit group that performs most of the hospital accreditations performed nationwide. The federal government does not disclose the survey results now. Making the survey results public would give patients more information about hospitals’ operations, including their efforts to prevent hospital-acquired infections, and foster greater transparency.
- Video: Certain Antibiotics Spur Widening Reports of Severe Side Effects Source: PBS (Thursday June 16, 2011)
PBS national news segment on antibiotic toxicity. The ten minute PBS video shows that the FDA only picks up one in ten adverse drug reactions.
- Duluth reporters use malpractice database to track doc’s settlements Source: Duluth News Tribune (Wednesday June 15, 2011)
Two reporters use the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal database that tracks malpractice cases, to find settlement amounts for medical lawsuits.
- Oregon doctors, hospitals and patients wrestle with growing drug shortages Source: The Oregonian (Saturday July 9, 2011)
Oregon cancer patient affected by drug shortages of his chemotherapy. Drug shortages are a growing national problem, and as a result, patients are getting late treatments, substitute medications, or decreased drug doses for serious illnesses.
- FDA is urged to revamp its review process for medical devices Source: Los Angeles Times (Friday July 29, 2011)
“The National Academy of Sciences says in an FDA-commissioned report that thousands of medical devices are allowed to go on the market without proper testing for safety. The FDA disputes the finding.”
- Medicare To Examine Quality Of Care At Outpatient Surgery Centers Source: Kaiser Health News (Tuesday July 26, 2011)
Starting in October 2013, Medicare payments to outpatient surgery centers will be affected by the rates of problems at these facilities.
- Moving Toward Safer Outpatient Care: CDC Releases Guide for Preventing Infections Source: CDC Safe Healthcare (Wednesday July 13, 2011)
CDC Releases Infection Prevention Guide to Promote Safe Outpatient Care
- Infection Risk Lurks in Hospital ICUs Source: WebMD Health News (Tuesday June 7, 2011)
WebMD coverage of a new Consumer Reports Health study on central line-associated bloodstream infections in hospitals across the country. You can view the study here.
- UCD Med Center fights infections; VA facility finds success Source: Sacramento Bee (Monday May 30, 2011)
An estimated 12,000 Californians die annually from preventable hospital infections, according to state Department of Public Health statistics. Read about what some California hospitals are doing to address the problem.
- Deadly bacteria lurk inside hospital wards Source: Sacramento Bee (Sunday May 29, 2011)
A lack of urgency at the California Department of Public Health stifles progress on hospital infection prevention, leaving California patients at risk.
Research and Reports
- Drug Safety: FDA Has Conducted More Foreign Inspections and Begun to Improve Its Information on Foreign Establishments, but More Progress Is Needed
The GAO has written a report on the FDA’s progress on foreign drug inspections since 2008. In 2008, the GAO found that FDA had inspected relatively few foreign establishments and had inaccurate information in its databases from 2002 through 2007.
- Dangerous Dialysis
Article about the common errors (including infection) that occur in dialysis units.
- Memorandum Report: Quality Improvement Organizations' Final Responses to Beneficiary Complaints
Review of QIO complaint responses to Medicare beneficiaries who report quality-of-care problems.
- Public Health Effectiveness of the FDA 510(k) Clearance Process: Balancing Patient Safety and Innovation: Workshop Report
A committee was convened to assess the regulatory clearance process for certain medical devices held a workshop to glean insights and data from a range of invited experts. The information presented at the workshop and summarized in this report will help inform the committee’s ongoing deliberations. This summary does not contain reactions or statements by members of the study committee, whose findings and recommendations will be recorded in a report to be publicly released in 2011.
- Office of Inspector General Exclusions Program
Search through the OIG’s database to identify individuals or entities who have been excluded from participating in Federally-funded health care programs.
- Drug shortages: National survey reveals high level of frustration, low level of safety
ISMP survey: More than 1,000 near misses, errors, and adverse outcomes due to drug shortages in the US.
- One in four patients experiences revolving-door hospitalizations
Over a 2-year period, roughly one-quarter of all hospital patients were readmitted for the same conditions that prompted their initial hospitalization, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
- Public Citizen, CIR/SEIU, AMA et.al petition to OSHA
“Whereas previous appeals to limit resident physicians’ work hours have focused on the well-documented risks patients face due to tired physicians, this petition concentrates on the often-overlooked health risks faced by the resident physicians who endure those long hours.”
- Health Care-Associated Infections Greatly Increase the Length and Cost of Hospital Stays
AHRQ (August 25, 2010)
- Look for Yourself: Is Your State Reporting Dangerous Nurses?
Chart that shows how many serious disciplinary actions against registered nurses each state reported to a federal database over the past ten years.