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
- Fact sheet on federal bill S. 470
Fact sheet on federal bill S. 470
- Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2005, S.334 and H.R.700
Spending on prescription drugs in America has increased faster than any other category of health care expenditure.
- Sen. Chuck Grassley’s take on the FDA’s drug safety program
Asks tough questions during Consumer Federation of America conference
- A Rudderless, Leaderless FDA
Read the letter and op-ed from Consumers Union concerning the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to ensure drug safety.
- CU Model Clinical Trials Bill
Consumers Union has drafted two alternative model bills for use by state legislatures that wish to address the problem of inadequately disclosed clinical trials.
- Stay safe in the hospital
The January issue of Consumer Reports on Health newsletter tells patients and their relatives how to get the best care and prevent hospital infections and medication errors.
- FDA’s proposed changes to drug safety program
Agency responds to concerns with Vioxx and anti-depressants
- National project shows that hospitals can reduce surgical site infections
The results of a year-long study among 56 hospital teams around the country recently revealed positive results. The Surgical Infection Prevention Collaborative aims to reduce deaths and injuries due to postoperative infections in the Medicare population, but the net effect is that everyone who goes to a hospital that institutes these practices will be safer. (pdf format only)
- What You Should Know About the Biggest Health Care Payer in the U.S.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is a little known entity with a lot of power: it oversees the operation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs and sets standards for most hospitals in the U.S.
- Avoiding Hospital Blunders (Knowing the Risks and Speaking Up Can Help You Stay Safe)
Consumer Reports on Health gives tips on avoiding hospital blunders.
- HHS releases plan to prevent health care-associated infections
This week the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released its “Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections” which sets five-year prevention targets for six major types of infection. Such as (from Table 1):
• A 30% reduction in C. difficile
• A 25% reduction in urinary catheter infections
• A 50% reduction in MRSA infections
- NYT calls for doctors to be included in Medicare non-payment rules
The New York Times came out Sunday with a strong call for making the new Medicare rule to stop paying for care needed after hospitals harm their patients apply to physicians too, stating the current policy lets “doctors off scot-free.”
- The “Duh” Factor — What’s So Hard About Saving Lives?
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that only eight state hospital associations even gather comprehensive information about the rate of central-line-associated bloodstream infections (among the most common types of hospital-acquired infections).
- Survivor turned movement leader: Meet Alicia
Alicia Cole, an actress and hospital infection survivor, last Friday launched her own initiative to finally pass an infection reporting law in California.
- Some Hospitals Provide Rxs for Error, Dissatisfaction
You may remember Dennis Quaid from The Parent Trap but nowadays he’s speaking out against medical errors…
- 3 minutes of your time could save your life
I needed an antidote. Too many drug ads—smiling people glowing with the pleasure of their successful medical treatments. But of course, they are actors.
- Discount drug cards underscore need for a national solution
Some cities and counties are trying to fight high prescription drug costs, but we really need Congress to act.
- What’s up, Doc?
Is your doctor being bought by drug companies? Wish there was a way to find out?
- The race to get vaccinated
At least 20 states have recently introduced bills that would require that all young girls receive the vaccine for the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer. The vaccine, Gardasil was only approved by the FDA last June.
- U.S. official lobbies Britain on behalf of drug industry
Put this one in the jaw-dropping-to-the-floor category: The Guardian reports that U.S. deputy health secretary Alex Azar urged his British counterparts to open the British national health system to more drugs and pushed for direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug ads in Britain.
- CDC issues guidance on preventing bloodstream infections Source: American Medical News (Tuesday April 19, 2011)
Hospitals are required to report their ICU central-line infection rates or risk losing 2% in Medicare pay.
- Study Finds Drop in Deadly V.A. Hospital Infections Source: New York Times (Wednesday April 13, 2011)
A four-year MRSA prevention program yields significant results–CDC should make MRSA screening a tier one prevention category.
- Obama Administration Introduces Plan to Reduce Preventable Medical Errors Source: PBS (Tuesday April 12, 2011)
The Obama administration announced a new patient-safety program Tuesday on the heels of medical journal Health Affairs publishing a study showing that one in three people admitted to hospitals suffers a medical error or accident. Margaret Warner talks with Heath Affairs’ Susan Dentzer about the study and the new plan.
- White House targets medical errors Source: Los Angeles Times (Wednesday April 13, 2011)
The Obama administration announced Tuesday an initiative aimed at reducing the number of medical errors that occur in U.S. hospitals.
- New hospital-safety plan leaves patients in the dark Source: Consumer Reports Health (Tuesday April 12, 2011)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new hospital-safety plan for the nation, but they left out any mention of letting patients know how things are going.
- HHS takes aim at medical errors, health care costs Source: CNN Health (Tuesday April 12, 2011)
CU’s Safe Patient Project Director, Lisa McGiffert, quoted by CNN health blog on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “Partnership for Patients” initiative.
- CT Hospitals Beat National Average On ICU Bloodstream Infections Source: CT Health I-Team (Thursday March 31, 2011)
This report is the first of its kind in Connecticut, allowing consumers to view central line associated bloodstream infection data reported by Connecticut hospitals.
- Feds to Follow ProPublica, Release Dialysis Clinic Data Source: ProPublica (Tuesday March 29, 2011)
Federal regulators say they are moving to make once-confidential data about the performance of kidney dialysis clinics more readily available to the public.
- Glenwood case led to national recall Source: Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Thursday March 10, 2011)
Local boy who’s battling leukemia contracted bacterial infection from tainted alcohol wipes recalled by the FDA two months later.
- Video: Donald Berwick on Healthcare-Associated Infections Source: National Journal (Wednesday March 2, 2011)
Safe Patient Project campaign director, Lisa McGiffert, speaks on a National Journal panel discussion on the effect of healthcare-associated infections on the quality and cost of healthcare delivery in the United States featuring Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Research and Reports
- What You Need to Know Before Having an MRI Scan
The magnetic field of the MRI scanner may exert forces on certain implanted objects that are susceptible to the effects of the magnetic field, potentially causing the object to move within the body, which could result in serious harm. Learn how you can help protect yourself.
- What You Can Do to Prevent Wrong-Site Surgery
Know what steps you can take to prevent a wrong-site surgery from happening to you or a loved one.
- Preventing the Retention of Foreign Objects during Interventional Radiology Procedures
Patient injury reports indicate that it is important to use radiopaque sponges during any IR procedure in order to prevent the retention of foreign objects following IR procedures.
- Safety in the MR Environment: MR Screening Practices
In 2008, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority received approximately 150 reports describing events in which the magnetic resonance (MR) clinical screening process was inadequate and, in some cases, erroneously permitted patients with implanted pacemakers and other ferromagnetic objects into the MRI scanner room.
- Medication Errors Occurring in the Radiologic Services Department
Nearly 1,000 event reports submitted to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority specifically mentioned medication errors that occurred in care areas providing radiologic services.
- Why Not The Best? Comparative Reports on Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
Users of WhyNotTheBest.org can now search for and compare data for nearly 1,000 hospitals on the incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)—one of the most lethal hospital-acquired complications. The data show wide variation in CLABSI incidence, in spite of strong evidence on how to prevent them. The updated data is made possible through a partnership among The Commonwealth Fund, The Leapfrog Group, and Consumers Union.
- QuarterWatch report on Adverse Drug Events (4th Quarter 2009)
Reported patient deaths increased by 14% in 2009 from adverse drug events.
- FDA 2010 Warning Letters to Drug Companies
FDA warning letters and untitled letters to drug companies for marketing and communications violations.
- QuarterWatch: Monitoring MedWatch Reports
ISMP QuarterWatch (Quarter 4 and 2009 totals) – Reported patient deaths increased by 14% in 2009. QuarterWatch is an ISMP program used to monitor adverse drug events (ADEs) in the US. During the most recent period of monitoring, ISMP analyzed 116,174 serious, disabling, and fatal ADEs reported to FDA during 2009. A 2.8-fold increase in reports has been observed since 2000. The volume of reports from health professionals has been relatively stable since 2004, while consumer reports have risen steadily since 2000.
- Veterans Health Administration MRSA Initiative February 2010 (PDF)
Veterans Health Administration five-year plan to reduce MRSA infections in VA hospitals.