Enforcement actions may now stem from quality data, expert says

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Because of greater access, quality-of-care data could form the basis of new enforcement actions against healthcare facilities and their alleged failure to provide adequate care, according to a legal expert.

Information from regulators, whistleblowers, media and others will be used in an effort to ensure healthcare providers who receive federal money are giving residents high quality services, said James G. Sheehan, associate U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in a speech during the American Health Lawyers Association Hospitals and Health Systems Law Institute.

Discrepancies in information from multiple sources about a provider or facility may serve as the "red flag" that gets prosecutors' attention, Sheehan said.