Healthcare News & Insights

Hospitals get a reprieve when it comes to revised regs

It’s true, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is revising hospitals’ Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and governing body requirements. But you can relax for now.

Why?

Due to the number of comments — and complaints — about the new requirements that a hospital governing body include a member of the medical staff, CMS has decided to reconsider this rule. That has a great many hospital executives breathing a sigh of relief.

According to a letter from Rich Umbdenstock, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA), CMS didn’t include the changes in the notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) issued Oct. 24, 2011. Therefore, hospitals and other stakeholders didn’t have any notice that CMS was considering adopting these revisions and couldn’t comment on them. And CMS’s inclusion of these policy changes only in the final rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act, Umbdenstock claimed.

The AHA also noted that while many hospitals have a member of their medical staff on their governing board, others don’t — for very specific reasons — and others legally can’t.

The American Medical Association (AMA), however, strongly supports having a member of the medical staff on a hospital’s governing body and urges CMS to keep the revisions in and not cave to pressure from the AHA.

Dr. James Madara, AMA executive VP, told HealthLeaders Media that medical staff should be specific to each hospital to serve “as a vital resource for real-time clinical feedback regarding what does and does not work.  For these efforts to be successful, it is essential that a locally organized medical staff oversee care delivery and provide a primary perspective regarding how that hospital’s care coordination efforts are working for that local patient population.”

CMS is caught in the middle of the two powerful associations and has postponed the implementation of this new requirement to rethink it, and will revisit it in future rule-making sessions.

 

 

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