What You Need to Know About the Proposed Rule Changes to CMS

Barely ten months into the enforcement period of the Emergency Preparedness Conditions of Participation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing some rule changes that would “reform Medicare regulations that are identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on health care providers and suppliers.” We outline those proposed changes below and provide links to key resource pages.
The key points:
  1. Emergency preparedness plans need to be updated “at least every two years” instead of the current annual requirement.
  2. “Cooperation and collaboration” must still occur, but the requirements to document attempts at such cooperation and collaboration would be eliminated.
  3. Facilities would have to provide training on the emergency plan every two years, not annually.
  4. The exercise requirement has been clarified and, in the case of out-patient facilities, relaxed.
Before we expand on these points, there are other key facts we need to present:
  1. CMS has proposed other rules changes too, besides those for Emergency Preparedness. Review the proposed changes for your provider type by looking at the Table of Contents here.
  2. These rules are proposed, and will not take effect until well after a 60-day comment period expires.
  3. You should feel free to submit comments on these proposed changes.
  4. While accreditation organizations like The Joint Commission, CHAP, AAAHP, and others are still adjusting their requirements to reflect CMS regulations, they may not be as quick to relax them. You need to follow the standards for the highest accreditation you seek.
To read the entire proposed rule in the Federal Register, click here.
To comment on the proposed rules:
  • Please refer to file code CMS-3346-P. Because of staff and resource limitations, CMS cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission.
  • Submit comments electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this regulation here.
Please comment on the rules directly to CMS using the link above. Please also send us your comments so we can share them and answer any questions. And remember… these are proposed rules. Make sure you are focused on compliance with the existing regulations. Those are the ones the surveyor will hold you to. If you are not sure your surveyor will give you a passing grade, call us for help.

Continue reading more on this subject in our five-part series!

Categories: CMS Compliance | Healthcare

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