CMS Seeks Notice of Ownership Changes at Accreditation Organizations

May 2019 ~

CMS issued a proposed rule, on April 30, which establishes a specific process Accrediting Organizations (AOs) with Medicare-approved accreditation programs must follow if there is a sale, transfer, and/or purchase of assets related to the ownership of an AO.

The proposal, according to CMS, seeks to assure continued quality and safety in healthcare facilities by strengthening oversight of AOs and requiring greater transparency when ownership changes occur at AOs.

“Accrediting Organizations are an important partner in our oversight of healthcare facilities across the country,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Today we are reinforcing our commitment to patient safety by proposing policy that would require Accrediting Organizations to notify CMS when the organization makes a change in ownership. This rule builds on earlier steps we’ve take to strengthen federal oversight of Accrediting Organizations and ensure patients are receiving high quality, safe care at our nation’s healthcare facilities.”

Under the current regulations, AOs are not required to notify CMS of advanced notice of pending changes of ownership.

If finalized, the proposed rule would require AOs to provide notification when they are “contemplating or negotiating” a change of ownership. The agency would also require prospective new owners to submit documentation and information confirming their ability to effectively perform the required accreditation tasks after the change of ownership takes place. CMS’s proposal does not impede the actual sale of an AO, but instead gives CMS the ability to approve or deny the accreditation programs that are to be transferred as part of the sale or transfer.

CMS hopes that by conducting better oversight and creating increased transparency, the rule will help minimize any potential risks to patient safety and further building on the agency’s commitment to patient safety and accountability.

View the proposed rule, in its entirety, on the Federal Register.

Source(s): CMS Press Release; Modern Healthcare; Fierce Healthcare; Inside Health Policy; HealthcareDIVE;