Sen. Grassley calls for public disclosure of hospital safety inspections

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Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is calling for changes to a federal law that allows accrediting organizations overseen by CMS, like The Joint Commission, to keep hospital inspection reports private, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The senator, who also serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Monday to CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking for more information on what statutory changes would need to be made to end the confidentiality around inspection reports.

Mr. Grassley's letter follows a Sept. 8 investigative report WSJ published, which found The Joint Commission seldom revokes its seal of approval for hospitals who do not comply with Medicare regulations — even after violations that seriously threaten patient safety.

"The Joint Commission appears to be unable to aggressively enforce the necessary standards on all facilities," Mr. Grassley wrote in the letter.

While CMS introduced draft regulation that would require accrediting organizations to make hospital inspections public in April, the agency withdrew the proposal in August, saying federal law prohibits the agency from publicly releasing findings from such inspections.

A spokeswoman for The Joint Commission did not respond to WSJ's requests for comment.

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