Health Reform WK-EDGE Streamline processes, reduce burdens on providers
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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Streamline processes, reduce burdens on providers

By Rebecca Mayo, J.D.

An HHS final rule revised a number of requirements, Conditions of Participation, and Conditions for Coverage/Conditions for Certification to reduce regulatory burden on providers.

A final rule was issued as part of HHS’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of existing regulations consistent with statutory requirements, streamline procedural solutions for businesses to enter and operate in the marketplace, maximize net benefits, and reduce costs and other burdens on businesses to comply with regulations. HHS believes some of the changes in the final rule will create measurable monetary savings for providers and suppliers, while others will create less quantifiable savings of time and administrative burden. The first year net savings is expected to total $843 million and slightly more in future years (Final rule, 84 FR 51732, September 30, 2019).

Reducing burden. The requirements and authority for non-physician practitioners documenting progress of patients receiving services in psychiatric hospitals was clarified. Nomenclature changes were made to the transplant center regulations to reduce confusion. Transplant centers will have a reduced number of data submission requirements in order to obtain Medicare re-approval. Home Health Agencies will only be required to give verbal notice of patient rights related to payments made by Medicare, Medicaid, or other federally funding programs, rather than giving verbal notification of all patient rights.

The discharge process for Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institutions was simplified. Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) now must only periodically provide the local hospital with written notice of its operation and patient population served rather than having a written transfer agreement. Certain sections were eliminated from both the Hospital and the ASC requirements for comprehensive medical history and physical assessment procedures. Requirements related to medication management and orientation of staff were streamlined for Hospice facilities. Multi-hospital systems may now have a unified and integrated infection prevention and control program for all member hospitals. Personnel requirements for portable X-Ray technologists and requirements for portable x-ray orders were also streamlined. Emergency Preparedness requirements relating to emergency plans, the annual review of emergency plans, training and testing were all revised to allow for greater flexibility.

Revised timelines. Comprehensive Rehabilitation Facility Utilization Review Plan requirements were reduced in frequency. CAH annual review of policies and procedures was changed to a biennial review. Community Mental Health Center requirements for updating the client assessment was modified to allow flexibility to fit with client needs and standards of practice. Rural Health Clinic and Federally Qualified Health Center review of patient care policies and program evaluations were changed from an annual requirement to every other year.

Obsolete, duplicative and unnecessary requirements. Hospice aide training and competency requirements now defer to state licensure requirements. The requirement that autopsies be performed in all unusual deaths now defers to state law. Certain hospital and CAH swing-bed requirements were repealed and revised to allow the facilities greater control. Terms related to home health agency home health aide skill competencies were defined and the evaluation requirements were refined. Finally, a duplicative requirement that CAHs disclose the names of people with a financial interest in the CAH was removed.

FederalRegisterIssuances: FinalRules AgencyNews MedicaidNews MedicarePartANews ProviderPaymentNews ProgramIntegrityNews NewsFeed

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