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CMS on Expanding Self-Administration of Medication

Betty A. Marton for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2012
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This article appears in the April 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid  Services issued a proposed rule change in October 2011 that would, among other things, expand the ability of patients and their caregivers to administer medications.

CMS, in its proposal, stated the change "would allow hospitals the flexibility to develop and implement policies and procedures for a patient and his or her caregivers/support persons to administer specific medications (noncontrolled drugs and biologicals). This proposal would be consistent with the current practice of giving patients access at the bedside to urgently needed medications, such as nitroglycerine tablets and inhalers, and selected nonprescription medications, such as lotions and rewetting eye drops. These proposed changes would apply to the self-administration of both hospital-issued medications and the patient's own medications brought into the hospital."

Hospitals that choose to develop and implement such a program would be expected to address it in hospital policies and procedures. CMS stated that it believes "allowing for patient self-administration of medication, particularly those medications brought in from the patient's home, may provide hospitals with a means to make care more patient-centered and adaptable to patient and caregiver/support person needs."


This article appears in the April 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.