The AHA and Federation of American Hospitals today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Kentucky Supreme Court decision that would thwart Congress’ intent that the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 protect health care providers’ reports to patient safety organizations from discovery in litigation. In a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the petitioners, AHA and FAH explained that patient safety organizations “can aggregate data from members; provide evidence-based analysis of the root causes of medical errors and near-misses; and propose systems-focused solutions to prevent future mistakes.” Recognizing that these objectives can be achieved only through broad-based participation by providers who can honestly assess their mistakes without fear of repercussions, Congress “built into the Patient Safety Act a promise of nearly absolute confidentiality for reports to patient safety organizations,” the brief states. “...The Kentucky Supreme Court may not like that limitation, but that is the balance Congress struck, and it was a choice for Congress, not the courts, to make.” They call the Act’s privilege “a critical tool for improving patient safety,” and said the Kentucky decision “is particularly unwarranted” because plaintiffs still have access to their medical records and may use the traditional tools of discovery to find out the facts underlying an incident.