The Association of Health Care Journalists today launched hospitalinspections.org, a free, searchable news application that compiles thousands of federal inspection reports for hospitals around the nation since January 2011.
The move follows years of advocacy by AHCJ urging the government to release the deficiency reports in an electronic format. Until now, reporters and the public had to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to obtain the documents, a process fraught with delays that can stymie timely public knowledge of problems at hospitals.
This site includes details about deficiencies cited during complaint inspections at acute-care and critical access hospitals throughout the United States since Jan. 1, 2011. It does not include results of routine inspections or those of psychiatric hospitals or long-term care hospitals. It also does not include hospital responses to deficiencies cited during inspections. Those can be obtained by filing a request with a hospital or the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
This effort follows years of advocacy by AHCJ to encourage federal officials to publish this information electronically. Until now, this information has only been available through Freedom of Information Act requests – and only in paper form. Funding for this project was provided by the provided by the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.