CMS Releases Proposed Rule Aimed at Regulatory Burden

CMS Releases Proposed Rule Aimed at Regulatory Burden

September 18, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) services released a proposed rule September 17 that CMS Administrator Seema Verma touted as a step to “ease the burden of regulation while ensuring that we maintain a focus on integrity, quality and safety.”

The proposed rulemaking makes several changes to CMS Conditions of Participation and Conditions for Coverage for hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, home health care, and other care settings. In the proposed rulemaking, CMS describes the changes as “(1) Proposals that simplify and streamline processes, (2) proposals that reduce the frequency of activities and revise timelines, and (3) proposals that are obsolete, duplicative, or that contain unnecessary requirements.”

Preliminary review of the proposed rule shows several areas that could impact WHA members:

  • Permit multi-hospital systems to maintain a single, integrated Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) and infection control programs for all of its members, rather than separate programs for each hospital.
  • Provide hospitals with additional flexibility in determining whether a simplified pre-surgery assessment could be used instead of a comprehensive medical history and physician examination (H&P).
  • Removing the requirement that all ambulatory surgery centers have a transfer agreement with a hospital.
  • Clarifying the scope of authority for non-physician practitioners providing services in psychiatric hospitals.
  • Reduction in various documentation requirements related to emergency preparedness.
  • Reduce the frequency of critical access hospital, rural health clinic and federally qualified health center required self-review of their policies and procedures. 
  • Remove some skilled nursing facility requirements currently applicable to facilities performing swing bed services.  
  • For some behavioral health settings, replacing specified time requirements for mental health assessments with a requirement for updates in accordance with patient needs and standards of practice.  
WHA is reviewing the entirety of the rule and will be submitting written comments to CMS. The comment period runs through November 20. After the comment period, CMS will have an opportunity to revise the proposed rule and publish a final rule and effective date.

If you have any questions about the proposed rule or have recommendations for comments to include in WHA’s comment letter to CMS, contact Matthew Stanford, WHA General Counsel.  

This story originally appeared in the September 18, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter