Prompted by concerns voiced by the American Hospital Association and other stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on June 15 said 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. In a memorandum to state survey agencies, CMS said surveyors should not assess compliance with the requirement or cite related deficiencies without receiving instructions from CMS.
In addition, the agency said CMS-approved hospital accreditation programs are not expected to revise standards or survey processes related to the requirement “until we have addressed the issue completely.” The requirement was originally included in a May 16 final rule revising Medicare and Medicaid conditions of participation for hospitals.
In the preamble to that rule, CMS also said it would not allow health systems to have a single, integrated medical staff. In a June 5 letter, AHA said both policy changes violate the Administrative Procedure Act and should be rescinded immediately.