AMA, AHA at Odds Over 'Surprise' Medicare Final Rule

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , June 18, 2012

Communication between the medical staff and leadership is important, the AHA says, but "We believe that CMS's substitution of its own judgment about how to accomplish this goal without thorough and considered public comment has resulted in a significantly ill-informed policy with which many hospitals will be unable to comply."

Madera, on the other hand, says the AMA strongly supports having a member of the medical staff on a hospital's governing body.

"While the corporate executives, attorney, civic leaders, and other non-clinician who sit on the governing body often bring relevant expertise to the overall management of the hospital, as non-clinicians, they are not equipped to evaluate and guide patient care at the facility."

Wilson, of the AMA, says it's important that physicians who take care of patients at the hospital have input on such decisions as "how you monitor patients or how you move patients from different places within a hospital, or how you care for patients who are very ill or have infectious diseases.

"One would assume that (the hospitals) are trying to look for efficiency and economy, and they believe that if they have one big system, one central group can serve all those functions.  We disagree, and we think it's counterintuitive to suggest that for any one hospital you wouldn't have a medical staff making recommendations about patient care and safety."

CMS Responds

Prompted by concerns voiced by AHA and other stakeholders, CMS said Friday it will hold off implementing a new requirement that hospital governing boards include a medical staff member and will reconsider the requirement in future rulemaking.

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4 comments on "AMA, AHA at Odds Over 'Surprise' Medicare Final Rule"

Kay Bauer (6/19/2012 at 9:17 PM)
To myself as a patient have heard grumbles from a couple of my well respected physicians and I feel there are too many outsiders on hospital boards that really do not grasp the scope of what they are trying to do. I feel we need more physicians overseeing Hospitals as they understand what patients need much more than an outsider on the board. Physicians deal daily with patient illnesses and problems. Patients are starting to get frustrated with hearing these grumblings but I see why after reading this article.

Li (6/19/2012 at 8:38 AM)
First thing that came to mind: I think there will be a lot of educational loans not being paid if the docs can't 'moonlight' at different hospitals the way they do.

SteveA (6/18/2012 at 7:30 PM)
So if a multi-hospital system keeps a single governing board, but must have individual medical staffs, that would mean each hospital gets to send one doctor to the governing board. Imagine that - gasp ! - there would be local physician representation on the governing board ! Does anyone know whether it would be the medical staff who gets to select whom to send, or would the governing board get to pick the doctor they want? - A huge difference between those two scenarios.




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