CMS reconsidering hospital board medical staff requirement

AHA News Now

Prompted by concerns voiced by AHA and other stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Friday 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 In a June 5 letter, AHA said both policy changes violate the Administrative Procedure Act and should be rescinded immediately.

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