Clarity PSO Addresses the Important Role Patient Safety Organizations Play in the Affordable Care Act Final Rule Filed by CMS

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Clarity PSO names critical reasons why a PSO is the preferred method for hospitals with more than 50 beds to meet the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace participation requirements as set forth in the Affordable Care Act Final Rule.

"Providers can enhance the quality and safety of the care they deliver from their affiliation with a PSO, and we are excited to partner with hospitals in expanding their patient safety efforts."

On February 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) filed a Final Rule regarding Improvements for the 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace. In the notice, CMS finalized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that starting January 1, 2017, a hospital with more than 50 beds that wants to participate in the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace must conduct work through a Patient Safety Evaluation System as defined in 42 CFR 3.20, which requires the use of a Patient Safety Organization (PSO).

There are reasonable exceptions to meeting the ACA mandate, but as identified by the CMS requirement and as referenced by many commenters, PSOs are the preferred method. It is a PSO’s mission to assist providers in identifying and reducing risks associated with delivery of care, such as readmission rates, safe patient discharge, and all cause preventable harm - the very goal of the Ruling.

Tom Piotrowski, Executive Director of Clarity PSO, states, “This is the time for PSOs to respond to the needs of healthcare providers under the ACA! Providers can enhance the quality and safety of the care they deliver from their affiliation with a PSO, and we are excited to partner with hospitals in expanding their patient safety efforts."

Tom identifies some of the critical reasons why a PSO is the preferred way to meet the mandate, which include:

  •     PSOs collect all types of information from all types of healthcare organizations. While a PSO can balance tailored safety solutions, the scope of patient safety activities are not limited to specific sectors, measures or specialties.
  •     Under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, organizations that contract with a PSO receive strong federal privilege and confidentiality protections for any patient safety data reported to the PSO.
  •     One of the ultimate goals of the PSO program is to create a national error reporting database, which does not exist anywhere else in healthcare. There are a few PSOs, including Clarity PSO, who have led the charge in kick starting the development of the database.
  •     A PSO supports a culture of safety by offering organizations a “learning laboratory” to investigate, test, and repair care delivery processes before they can cause harm or repeat harm.

In our report, PSO Impact and Opportunity - A Seven-Year Report to Healthcare Providers, we outline our work as a PSO and highlight the impact we have had on our clients and the greater healthcare community. The report offers insight into the PSO program and provides more information as to why PSOs are a key proponent to making improvements in healthcare delivery and healthcare reform.

Since becoming one of the first PSOs listed in 2008, Clarity PSO has been a leader in the industry with patient safety activities that have yielded strong and positive results. Our clients are actively engaged in the program and have made many changes within their organizations based on what they have learned through the PSO. Clarity PSO looks forward to bringing more healthcare professionals together through the Final Ruling and advancing patient safety across the continuum of care.

About Clarity PSO
Clarity PSO is a federally listed Patient Safety Organization with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and stands as an independent division of Clarity Group, Inc. Clarity PSO offers healthcare providers a full range of solutions for increasing patient safety, including analytical benchmarking, risk-quality-safety resources, and systems development. Clarity's team of PSO consultants is dedicated to helping healthcare providers of all kinds mitigate risk while improving the quality of care. For more information on Clarity PSO, please visit

About Clarity Group, Inc.
Clarity helps healthcare organizations understand and manage their risk and related costs through innovative and practical tools and services that focus on quality and safety outcomes. Core Clarity products and services include captive insurance company development and operations; risk-quality-safety consulting and educational services; and software that facilitates the reporting, tracking and management of safety and quality events. For more information on Clarity Group, Inc., please visit

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Jaclyn Saffa
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