For a third time in the past year, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is seeking a reason for the delay in implementing patient-safety legislation signed into law three years ago.
In a letter to the Government Accountability Office, Kennedy asked Comptroller General David Walker to investigate why HHS has not completed regulations to carry out the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, which would create patient-safety organizations to collect and analyze healthcare facility data. Kennedy, who twice in 2007 asked HHS for details of its regulation review process and a timeline for implementation, said in the letter that the agency will not provide the information.
The failure to issue regulations has had a chilling effect on efforts to improve a culture of safety in American medicine, he wrote.
Kennedy isnt the only one demanding action. Several organizations including the Joint Commission and the American Medical Association in September also wrote a joint letter urging HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to act on the regulations more quickly. (For more on this topic, see
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