House committee approves medical errors bill

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The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week passed a compromise version of a bill (HR 3205) designed to build a voluntary reporting system for medical errors. Along with committee leadership, Senators Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) both helped to construct the compromised version which would aim to establish a legal structure through which medical errors could be reported. A database would then be created through the HHS database to evaluate the data for trends.

Enzi is said to have plans to bring the compromise bill to the Senate floor after the August recess and it is expected to pass without trouble.

According to reports, key details of the compromise bill include that the legislation should be neutral on litigation matters, but would provide some legal protections for new medical error information submitted into the system so as not to discourage reporting.