CMS Proposes to Lift Regulations, Ease Provider Burden

October 2018 ~

In September, CMS released a proposed rule to remove some of the Medicare participation requirements currently in place for health care facilities.

According the press release, the proposal aims to “relieve burden on healthcare providers by removing unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare facilities”. CMS expects these updates to save healthcare providers an estimated $1.12 billion annually. Taking into account policies across rules finalized in 2017 and 2018 as well as this and other proposed rules, savings are estimated at $5.2 billion.

CMS hopes the proposed rule will streamline and simplify Medicare’s current conditions of participation, conditions for coverage, and other requirements for participation for facilities, so they can meet health and safety standards more easily and efficiently.

A key provision included in the proposal intends to reduce burden and promote efficiency to support patients who need organ transplants by eliminating the duplicative requirement on transplant programs to submit data and other information more than once for “re-approval” by Medicare. CMS states in the release that the re-approval process has led to transplant programs avoiding performing transplants for certain patients, causing some organs to go unused. CMS will maintain other requirements in order to continue to monitor outcomes and quality of care in transplant programs after initial Medicare approval.

Additional provisions in the proposed rule would, for example:

  • Streamline hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical center requirements for conducting comprehensive medical histories and physical assessments.
  • Allow multi-hospital systems to have unified and integrated Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement programs for all of their member hospitals.
  • Simplify the ordering process for portable x-rays and modernize the personnel requirements for portable x-ray technologists.
  • Remove duplicative ownership disclosure requirements for Critical Access Hospitals.

CMS states in the release, that the proposed rule has been developed in response to the President’s recent charge to federal agencies to “cut the red tape” and reduce burdensome regulations, as well as responds to feedback from Requests for Information (RFIs) which sought stakeholder input on regulatory burdens.

“We are committed to putting patients over paperwork, while at the same time increasing the quality of care and ensuring patient safety and bolstering program integrity,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “With this proposed rule, CMS takes a major step forward in its efforts to modernize the Medicare program by removing regulations that are outdated and burdensome. The changes we’re proposing will dramatically reduce the amount of time and resources that healthcare facilities have to spend on CMS-mandated compliance activities that do not improve the quality of care, so that hospitals and healthcare professionals can focus on their primary mission: treating patients.”

CMS is currently seeking feedback on the proposal and will be accepting comments until November 19, 2018. Comments may be submitted electronically through the e-Regulation website.

For more information on the proposed rule, see the CMS Fact Sheet, view an “at a glance” overview of Medicare Burden Reduction, and access the proposal’s full text on the Federal Register.



Source(s): CMS Press Release; CMS Fact Sheet; Federal Register; Medicare Burden Reduction At-a-Glance;  Deloitte; ICD10 Monitor; Health Industry Washington Watch;