Ohio lawmakers call for stricter hospital regulations after Mount Carmel deaths

Some Ohio lawmakers are calling for increased hospital oversight in the wake of a patient death investigation at Mount Carmel West hospital in Columbus, Ohio, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

At present, Ohio is the only state that does not license hospitals. Instead, it requires hospitals to register with the health department annually, and undergo an inspection and accreditation every three years.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, R, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, are working with other lawmakers to review state policies and draft updated recommendations for heightened hospital regulation.

The call for more regulation comes about three months after Mount Carmel confirmed that William Husel, MD, a former physician at the hospital, ordered excessive doses of painkillers for at least 34 near-death patients in intensive care. The doses were likely fatal in 28 of those cases.

Opponents of stricter hospital oversight say heightening regulations will create more administrative burden for hospital staff, which could detract from patient care.

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