HHS Undertakes Massive Review of Rules, Regulations

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , May 31, 2011

Among the review initiatives:

  • CMS will review the conditions of participation it places on hospitals to remove or revise obsolete, unnecessary, or burdensome provisions. The concern is that removing a burdensome requirement may create problems down the road. CMS will first undertake an internal review and then work with stakeholders to tie burden-reducing steps to outcome-related health and safety reforms.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has underway an initiative to address conflicting requirements between Medicaid and Medicare that create problems for dual eligible beneficiaries. For example, Medicaid and Medicare have different coverage standards for accessing durable medical equipment.
  • For the first time since 1978, HHS is updating the way it identifies health professional shortage and medically underserved areas.
  • CMS is working to reduce the barriers to telemedicine to provide better access to care in rural and critical access areas.
  • CMS has proposed in the inpatient prospective payment system rule for 2012 to eliminate the requirement that hospitals rely on an actuarial determination to report their pension costs.
  • Work with the FDA to develop a parallel review of medical devices for marketing and reimbursement coverage to reduce the time it takes to authorize the devices for sale.
  • Review quality measure reporting requirements to determine if any are outdated and should be eliminated and whether standardizing measures might simplify the reporting and analysis of quality measures.

Final revisions to the preliminary plan will be completed by mid-August 2011.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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