As part of President Obama’s regulatory lookback initiative, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule last week (the “Rule”) that overhauled numerous staffing regulations affecting hospitals and clinics, extended deadlines for nursing homes to improve fire safety and removed certain data reporting requirements for organ transplant centers. CMS estimates that the changes will save health care providers $660 million annually and roughly $8 billion over five years.
Together with another rule finalized in 2012, the Rule represents the second round of changes in response to Executive Order 13563 issued in 2011, which sets out principles and requirements designed to promote federal agencies to modify, streamline or eliminate excessively burdensome and unnecessary regulations on business. Specifically, the Executive Order directed federal agencies to develop a Preliminary Plan on the Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations, which outlined the agency’s approach for periodically reviewing regulations to determine whether any rules should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives.
The Rule responds to the Executive Order by attempting to relieve health care providers of inefficiency by eliminating regulations that are out of date or no longer necessary. Many of the Rule’s provisions streamline health and safety standards required in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Some of the key provisions of the Rule include:
Some of the most significant new policies of the Rule include provisions: