The Joint Commission on Tuesday announced plans to revise 56 of more than 250 quality and safety standards, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Illinois, Maryland, and Mississippi.
- Illinois: The Joint Commission on Tuesday announced plans to revise 14% of its quality and safety standards in the first round of a review process aimed at realigning hospital safety and quality standards while decreasing administrative burden. The first round of revisions will affect 56 of the Commission's more than 250 standards. According to Joint Commission president and CEO Jonathan Perlin, the revisions, which will take effect Jan. 1, will remove redundant or obsolete measures and pave the way for new standards on health equity, environmental sustainability, infection control, and workforce development. "If we can help clear out some of the noise, we can work with the healthcare community to offer a much stronger signal for advancing safety, equity and quality," Perlin said. According to Perlin, CMS has approved the revisions. (Devereaux/Hartnett, Modern Healthcare, 12/20)
- Maryland: A report released Monday by the Reagan-Udall Foundation found that FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has "struggled to function as a regulator" and has been "forced to operate primarily in a reactive mode." The report, which is the second independent report FDA Commissioner Robert Califf called for last summer, follows another report that uncovered significant cultural and systemic issues within the agency that were contributing to problems in the U.S. food system. According to the report, which came from a panel chaired by former FDA Chief of StaffLauren Silvis, CTP's efforts have been hindered by the volume of product applications it receives, high leadership turnover, and "near constant litigation." The organization "has also struggled to function as a regulator in part due to some of its own policy choices," the report said, noting that product review regulations "have been difficult for both stakeholders and CTP to apply in practice." (Reed, Axios, 12/20)
- Mississippi: A 39-year-old Mississippi man on Monday pleaded guilty to "making threats in interstate commerce" after threatening to kill CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in July 2021. According to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca, Robert Wiser Bates told FBI agents he left threatening voicemails for Walensky at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, adding that "he would kill Dr. Anthony Fauci as well." Bates is currently set to be sentenced in March. According to federal prosecutors, he is facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (Falconer, Axios, 12/20; AP/ABC News, 12/19)