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CMS considers nixing 'burdensome' ASC, HOPD requirements — 5 notes

CMS proposed eliminating "unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome" Medicare regulations for ASCs and other healthcare facilities.

Here's what you should know:

1. The proposed rule includes a provision to scale back hospital outpatient and ASC requirements for conducting comprehensive medical histories and physical assessments. The agency proposes replacing comprehensive medical history and physical assessment regulations with requirements that defer to the ASC's policy and/or physicians' judgement.

2. CMS also proposes removing the requirement for a written hospital transfer agreement or hospital physician admitting privileges.

3. Other provisions include allowing multi-hospital systems to have unified and integrated Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement programs for all member hospitals; simplifying the ordering process for portable X-rays and removing duplicative ownership disclosure requirements for critical access hospitals.

4. CMS gathered stakeholder input, visited healthcare facilities and organized work groups to develop the rule. The agency has addressed 55 percent of issues it uncovered regarding burden and continues to address others.

5. CMS estimates the policy would save $1.12 billion annually. Combined with rules finalized since the initiative began, the proposal would save an estimated $5.2 billion and 53 million hours by the end of 2021.

"The changes we're proposing will dramatically reduce the amount of time and resources that healthcare facilities have to spend on CMS-mandated compliance activities that do not improve the quality of care, so that hospitals and healthcare professionals can focus on their primary mission: treating patients," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

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