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Health Care Regulation in AmericaComplexity, Confrontation, and Compromise$
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Robert I. Field

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159684.001.0001

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Regulation of Hospitals and Other Health Care Institutions

Regulation of Hospitals and Other Health Care Institutions

(p.41) 3 Regulation of Hospitals and Other Health Care Institutions
Health Care Regulation in America

Robert I. Field

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the regulatory framework for hospitals and other health care institutions. After tracing the history of hospitals, it reviews the varied bodies that oversee them. These include state health departments, the Joint Commission as a private accreditor controlled by member hospitals, Patient Safety Organizations, the federal Medicare program, and certificate-of-need programs in about half the states. Some specific activities, such as organ transplants and trauma care, are also governed by specialized bodies. Other laws enhance emergency room access and prohibit discrimination based on disability and on race, color, or national origin. Governments at all levels also operate hospitals directly, most notably public hospitals and Veterans Administration facilities. A separate system of federal and state oversight applies to long-term care facilities. The chapter concludes with a review of perennial policy conflicts, including that between private and governmental oversight and concerning public access to regulatory quality data.

Keywords:   hospitals, nursing homes, Medicare, accreditation, medical errors, organ donation, emergency medical services, clinical laboratories, Joint Commission

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