Federally funded hospitals would be required to collect specific information about a patient's race and would be rewarded with higher Medicare payments for doing so, under legislation introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Called FairCare, the bill also would establish an HHS grant program for data collection and quality improvement; ask the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to design new quality measures for healthcare delivery; and establish an office of National Healthcare Disparities and Quality. Lieberman first introduced FairCare in June 2004, but it failed to pass in the Senate. Passage this time may be unlikely. "There's neither the funding, the political will nor industry backing for this so late in the session," one lobbyist said. -- by Matthew DoBias
Senators propose requiring race data from hospitals
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