Agency Offers Draft of New Hospital Quality Rules

A new version of the hospital quality standards known as “Conditions of Participation” will enhance patient safety and save $900 million a year by eliminating unnecessary regulations, say two senior officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The draft Conditions released October 19 for a 60-day comment period are requirements for hospitals that wish to participate in Medicare and Medicaid—failure to meet the standards can result in a facility being terminated from receiving public funding. Writing in the October 18 Journal of the American Medical Association, Patrick H. Conway, MD, MSc and Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP say revisions will improve communications during care transitions, permit a single governing body to oversee a multi-institution health system, and do away with a requirement for stand-alone nursing plans that are different from other care plans. Also, the proposed rule would broaden the definition of hospital medical staff to include all state-licensed practitioners, including advanced practice nurses. The article “Improving the Rules for Hospital Participation in Medicare and Medicaid” is available for download at http://goo.gl/zh1yN. The proposed rule is available at www.regulations.gov.