Courier News

Bill Would Help Ensure NJ's Hospitals Are Safe

MyCentralJersey.com — Thursday, February 19, 2009

How safe is your hospital? Thanks to Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard and Senator Joseph Vitale, D-19th District, New Jersey residents may finally get an answer. Vitale is the lead sponsor of Senate bill S2471, which would require the DHSS to release hospital-specific medical error data to the public, enabling New Jersey residents to make informed health care decisions. Just as important, this landmark legislation would prohibit hospitals and physicians from charging patients for certain medical errors.

An old adage proclaims that what you don't know can't hurt you. However, in the case of preventable medical errors, what New Jerseyans don't know has hurt more than 1,550 New Jersey residents and killed over 72 more. Opening the books on medical errors and establishing a comprehensive nonpayment plan will help protect our state's residents from the fear of preventable medical errors.

AARP commends Vitale for his leadership on this important legislation.

PATRICIA KELMAR
AARP New Jersey
Aassociate State Director

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