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Reps. Barragán and Burgess Introduce National Patient Safety Board Act


March 8, 2024

Contact: Kevin G. McGuire


Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Reps. Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Dr. Michael Burgess (TX-26), members of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, reintroduced the National Patient Safety Board Act in advance of Patient Safety Awareness Week, which begins on Sunday, March 10.

Every year in the United States, as many as 400,000 deaths occur as a result of medical errors or preventable harm. In addition, there are cases of harm that do not lead to death but could still have long-term negative impacts to patients and their families. The National Patient Safety Board Act would create a National Patient Safety Board (NPSB) to reduce and prevent patient injury, harm, or death in health care settings.

“We must ensure that our health care system continues to improve on the safety of patients, caregivers, and healthcare workers,” said Rep. Barragán. “This is an issue that disproportionately impacts people from marginalized communities, including communities of color. Every American deserves safe and quality health care.  That’s why I am proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation alongside Dr. Burgess as a crucial step forward to ensure a collaborative, evidence-based, and modernized approach to improving patient safety across our country’s healthcare system.”

“Being a physician representative, I understand acutely the complex relationship between the government and a physicians’ practice,” said Congressman Burgess. “The National Patient Safety Board Act will establish an independent board that will work in collaboration with the various Department of Health and Human Services agencies to conduct patient safety studies by using non-punitive, technology integrated approaches to identify major sources of harmful patient safety events, and create recommendations to prevent those unfortunate events in the future. While you can’t legislate that a physician makes the right choices for each patients’ care, we should give them all the information they need to make those important choices. This bill will establish a meaningful bridge between stakeholders, patients, and federal agencies that will result in the improvement of the health care system in our nation.”

“It has been nearly 20 years since Congress passed the Patient Safety Quality and Improvement Act, legislation that has protected patients’ lives,” said James Gelfand, President and CEO of The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC). “ERIC and our large employer member companies support the need for an independent board that will use autonomous technology to avoid health care-related harm. We encourage Congress to advance the legislation to improve patient safety and protect patients.”

The NPSB will be a nonpunitive, collaborative, and independent board within the Department of Health and Human Services, and will interface with the Department of Health and Human Services agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and private entities. Modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board and the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, the NPSB would:

  • Identify Harm: The NPSB would identify and anticipate major sources of harm and not require additional data submission by healthcare providers.
  • Conduct Studies: The NPSB would first identify significant widespread harm, and then focus on understanding the pre-cursors and solutions to major harm sources, as opposed to conducting studies of all individual incidents.
  • Recommend Solutions: The NPSB would create recommendations and autonomous solutions to prevent patient safety events.

The National Patient Safety Board Act is endorsed by 93 members of the National Patient Safety Board Advocacy Coalition, a coalition of healthcare organizations, provider associations, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and consumer advocacy groups, including:

  • The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC)
  • AARP Public Policy Institute
  • ABIM Foundation
  • AccessVR
  • ACMQ
  • American Patient Rights Association
  • Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation
  • Ariadne Labs
  • athenahealth
  • Avkin
  • Baptist Health
  • BETA Healthcare Group
  • Business Group on Health
  • CareLuminate
  • Carilion Clinic
  • Carrum Health
  • Chapman University School of Pharmacy
  • Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS)
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Civitas Networks for Health
  • Comagine Health
  • Consumer Health Ratings
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock
  • eClinicalWorks
  • ECRI
  • Elevance Health
  • Families USA
  • Geisinger
  • HR Policy Association
  • Hughes Advocacy
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • IHI Lucian Leape Institute
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • ivWatch
  • Jensen Hughes
  • Jewish Healthcare Foundation
  • John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
  • Life Laboratory
  • Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation
  • Louisiana Business Group on Health
  • Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum
  • Marshfield Clinic Health System
  • Maryland Patient Safety Center
  • Maternal Alloimmunization Foundation
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Medical Malpractice Insights
  • MedStar Health
  • Meridian Healthcare Consulting
  • Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Moss Adams
  • National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions
  • National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)
  • National Perinatal Information Center (NPIC)
  • National Quality Forum
  • National Retail Federation
  • Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI)
  • New England Patient Voices
  • Pascal Metrics
  • Patient Safety Movement Foundation
  • Patients for Patient Safety US
  • Pegwin
  • Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC)
  • pic-K  Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus
  • Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
  • Project Patient Care
  • Project Process
  • Purchaser Business Group on Health
  • Quality and Safety First
  • Quality Insights
  • Resilient Cognitive Solutions (RCS)
  • RxToolKit
  • Safe Care Campaign
  • Salisbury University- College of Health and Human Services
  • SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
  • Sepsis Alliance
  • Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
  • St. Clair Health
  • Stratis Health
  • Synensys
  • System Safety Group LLC
  • The John A. Hartford Foundation
  • The Leapfrog Group
  • The University of Vermont Health Network
  • University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Value Capture, LLC
  • Verily Life Sciences
  • Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
  • Washington Health Alliance
  • Washington Patient Safety Coalition
  • Xenex


Congressmember Nanette Barragán represents California’s 44th District.  She sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and works on environmental justice and healthcare issues.  She is also Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).