On May 15, 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum providing interpretive guidelines (Guidelines) for complying with a recently enacted patient rights Condition of Participation (COP) for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). The new patient rights COP was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2008, along with other COPs for ASCs. Among other things, the COP requires ASCs to “provide the patient or the patient’s representative with verbal and written notice of the patient’s rights in advance of the date of the procedure …” The Guidelines in the May 15 memorandum, which was addressed to State Survey Agency Directors, clarify what is and is not acceptable notice to patients and patient representatives under the patient rights COP.
In summary, the Guidelines provide:
In the Guidelines, CMS did not mandate that a specific form or wording be used in the notice and indicated that a generic, pre-printed notice would be acceptable. The Guidelines do require, however, that the notice “address all of the patient’s rights under the Condition, as well as any other patient-related rights for which advance written notice is required under State or other Federal law for ASC patients.”
The full text of the Conditions for Coverage — Patient Rights appears in Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations at Section 416.50 (42 C.F.R. § 416.50).
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Rachelle (Shelly) R. Hart
Shirley P. Morrigan
Los Angeles, California
Robert E. Slavkin
J. Mark Waxman
Kevin J. Egan
San Diego, California