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  • Transparency Pays as Hospitals Improve Grades on How Protect Patients USA Today by Jayne O'Donnell — Fifteen U.S. hospitals — including two in Washington, D.C. — received failing grades in a new report on 2,600 hospitals released Tuesday that includes all 50 states for the first time. Maryland, which was previously exempted from providing hospital safety reports due to a special waiver, now ranks 46th on the non-profit Leapfrog Group's  latest state rankings. Leapfrog is a watchdog organization that was started by employers and unions that wanted more public information about patient safety and quality. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates about 90% of hospitals "average," Leapfrog is a much tougher grader. No other rating organization gives out anything equivalent to a D or F.

  • Senators Introduce Bill to Reduce 'Colossal and Completely Preventable Waste' ProPublica by Marshall Allen — Two U.S. senators introduced legislation Tuesday requiring federal agencies to come up with solutions to the waste caused by oversized eyedrops and single-use drug vials, citing a ProPublica story published earlier this month. The bipartisan effort by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, calls for the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to come up with a plan to reduce the waste, which is estimated to cost billions of dollars a year. "With the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, American taxpayers shouldn't be footing the bill for medicine going to waste," Klobuchar said in a press release announcing the bill, known as the Reducing Drug Waste Act of 2017.  Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., are co-sponsors of the legislation. Grassley called it "common sense" legislation. "It's no secret that wasteful health care spending is a significant contributor to the rising cost of health care in the United States," he said in the release.


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