Senate committee gives green light to hospital transparency legislation

The Missouri Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Health Committee Thursday gave final approval to legislation that requires the state Department of Health and Senior Services to update its list of communicable or infectious diseases that must be reported by hospitals and ambulatory care centers.

House Bill 1855, sponsored by Rep. Sue Allen, is the first update for the reports first mandated in 2004.  Associated Industries of Missouri supports cost and quality transparency in the healthcare industry.

Currently, the Department is required to disseminate reports to the public based on data compiled showing infection incidence rates for certain infections for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. The bill adds other infections to be reported, including: hospital and ambulatory surgical center procedure infections that meet certain requirements, central line-related bloodstream infections, health care-associated infections specified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other categories of infections established by the Department through rule. The Department must make such reports available to the public for at least two years.

1-in-25 hospital patients will develop some form of hospital-derived infection. Aside from being dangerous and sometimes life-threatening, these infections are very costly to insurers and any employer providing health insurance, workers compensation and even health insurance paid for by the state.

House Bill 1855 now moves on to the Senate floor for consideration.