Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the changes eliminate "unnecessary, obsolete, or burdensome regulations" imposed on hospitals and other healthcare providers. One change in particular is worth noting: Medicare's Conditions of Participation (CoPs) will no longer require each hospital to maintain a separate governing body.
"We're … pleased the new Medicare CoPs allow multi-hospital systems to have one governing board that can provide comprehensive oversight across all participating hospitals," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, in a statement.
Umbdenstock noted that CMS did not go far enough in allowing organizations to become more efficient, and I agree. "CMS did not allow hospitals in such systems to have single integrated medical staff structures if that's how those providers choose to be organized. Hospitals and medical staff members across the country are working together to streamline all areas of operation and CMS should not let antiquated organizational structures stand in the way," he says.
Strategic recommendation: If you deal with several single-hospital boards, take swift advantage of the new ruling to centralize your board.