Monday, February 15, 2010

Looking to Fed Govt to keep healthcare safe? Don't

More than two decades ago, Congress set out to stop dangerous or incompetent caregivers from crossing state lines and landing in trouble again.

It ordered up a national database allowing hospitals to check for disciplinary actions taken anywhere in the country against nurses, pharmacists, psychologists and other licensed health professionals.

On March 1 -- 22 years later -- the federal government finally plans to let hospitals use it. But the long-awaited repository is missing serious disciplinary actions against what are probably thousands of health providers, according to an investigation by the nonprofit news organization ProPublica in collaboration with the Los Angeles Times.