CMS Changes to Conditions of Participation Are Effective July 16, 2012
Last month, as a part of the ongoing effort to address regulations that "impose unnecessary burdens," the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs). CMS estimates that annual savings to hospitals from the final rule on CoPs could exceed $900 million in its first year as hospitals use this new flexibility. The following are key points addressed by the final rule (For the final rule, see 77
- Requiring that all eligible candidates, including APRNs and PAs, must be reviewed by the medical staff for potential appointment to the hospital medical staff and then allowing for the granting of all the privileges, rights, and responsibilities accorded to appointed medical staff members.
- Supporting and encouraging patient-centered care, through such changes such as allowing a patient or his or her caregiver/support person to administer certain medications (both those brought from the patient’s home and those dispensed by the hospital), and by allowing hospitals to use a single, interdisciplinary care plan that supports coordination of care through nursing services.
- Encouraging the use of evidence-based pre-printed and electronic standing orders, order sets, and protocols that ensure the consistency and quality of care provided to all patients by allowing nurses the ability to implement orders that are timely and clear.
- Allowing hospitals to determine the best ways to oversee and manage outpatients by removing the unnecessary requirement for a single Director of Outpatient Services.
- Increasing flexibility for hospitals by allowing one governing body to oversee multiple hospitals in a single health system.
- Allowing CAHs the flexibility to affiliate with other providers, as well as using temporary entities, to address efficiencies and alleviate work force shortages so that they can provide safe and timely delivery of care to their patients.
The final rule will be effective July 16, 2012.
Here’s a little compliance lagniappe: While updating your practices in light of these CoP changes, don’t forget the changes made last year to the rules governing patients’ rights. The Final Rule may be found at:
Federal Register 29034 (May 16, 2012). According to CMS’ recent press release, the changes are designed to reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals by: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-29194.pdf. Make sure your patient visitation policies have been updated to allow patients to choose their own visitors (including same-sex partners) during a hospital stay.