Rueckert J. Elimination of the Autopsy Requirement by CMS. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 13;382(7):683-684.
Full-text for Emory users.
The autopsy plays a vital role in quality assurance by providing education and feedback to clinicians regarding diagnostic accuracy, therapeutic efficacy, and medical complications. At our institution, we promote a culture of transparency. Discrepant cases are discussed with the treating physicians and families and are also presented at conferences on morbidity and mortality, to educate a broad audience. As is the case at other academic institutions, our autopsy service provides extensive support of cutting-edge research efforts and hence is not “obsolete.”
CMS is making a mistake. A robust autopsy service plays an important role in providing and maintaining high-quality patient care. By eliminating the autopsy requirement, we are burying opportunities for improvement. The autopsy should be supported, not undermined.