CMS Proposes Rules to Promote Efficiency, Transparency and Burden Reduction

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CMS recently proposed rules [PDF] in response to President Obama’s directive to government agencies, Executive Order 13563, to reduce outmoded or unnecessarily burdensome rules. CMS estimates that the changes in the rules will save hospitals and health care providers nearly $676 annually and $3.4 billion over the next five years. This is a continuation of the efforts initiated last May when CMS issued rules [PDF] of a similar nature.

Among the changes, the recently proposed rule would:

  • Reduce burdens on very small critical access hospitals, rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers, by eliminating the requirement that a physician be onsite once every two weeks. This rule change addresses the geographic barriers and remoteness of many rural facilities, while recognizing telemedicine improvements.
  • Save hospitals resources by permitting registered dieticians to independently order patient meals without the supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner.
  • Eliminate certain requirements that ambulatory surgical centers must meet to provide radiological services that are an integral part of their surgical procedures, by permitting greater flexibility of physician supervision requirements.
  • Permit nuclear medicine technicians in hospitals to prepare radiopharmaceuticals without requiring that a supervising physician or pharmacist by constantly present.
  • Eliminate a redundant data submission requirement and an unnecessary survey process for transplant centers.

Comments on the rules are due by April 8, 2013.