CMS proposes to reduce regulatory burdens. In mid-September 2018, CMS proposed a rule that it would said would “… reform Medicare regulations that are identified as unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome on healthcare providers and suppliers.” Key takeaways for ASCs include the following:
- CMS is proposing to remove provisions requiring centers to establish a written transfer agreement with a hospital or that all ASC physicians have admitting privileges in a hospital. CMS notes that EMTALA rendered such transfer and admitting privileges unnecessary.
- CMS is also proposing to eliminate current requirements that a physician (or other qualified practitioner) conduct a complete comprehensive medical history and physical assessment on every patient not more than 30 days before the date of the scheduled surgery. Furthermore, CMS is considering allowing ASCs to establish and implement a policy that identifies patients who require an H&P assessment prior to surgery — a welcomed change.
- There were also several proposed changes to emergency preparedness, including requiring facilities to review their emergency program at least every two years (rather than annually) and no longer include documentation of efforts to contact local, tribal, regional, state and federal emergency preparedness officials as well as requiring outpatient providers to conduct one testing exercise annually rather than two. Fewer requirements should help ASCs save money and free up time for other projects.
The information noted above was also reported by several other agencies. If approved, it would be tremendous for all ASCs.