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CMS Cuts Red Tape, Providers to Save $5B

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2012

This rule also allows intermediate care facilities for individuals who are intellectually disabled to operate under open-ended agreements for conditions of participation in the Medicare program instead of time-limited ones. These facilities must now be surveyed every 12 to 15 months.


Nursing Care Plan Rules
The third greatest savings of $110 million comes in a change of nursing care plan rules, in which hospitals now have the option of having a stand-alone nursing care plan or an interdisciplinary plan rather than several.

In several instances, the rule defers to the state, or what it calls "nationally recognized and evidence-based guidelines and recommendations" or on state laws, instead of setting a national standard. For example, hospitals now have flexibility to use standing orders, as long as they comply with accepted practice standards.

Other changes include:

A redefinition of condition of program participation requirements for hospitals so that patients and their caregivers can administer their own medications.

Allowance of one governing board to set policy for all hospitals within one healthcare system instead of requiring one body for each.

Elimination of a reporting requirement of deaths among patients in soft, two-point restraints, which are often used among terminally ill patients to avoid inadvertent removal of tubes or IVs. Instead, an internal log must be kept and made available to investigators upon request.

The final rules are available here.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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2 comments on "CMS Cuts Red Tape, Providers to Save $5B"


Tom (5/15/2012 at 11:39 AM)
Robert you are totally wrong on all fronts. During the Bush administration as of this time in his Presidency he had enacted 942 regulations. Obama is at 886 for the same time frame. The savings are real. This is money now being spent that will not have to be spent in the future. Your irrational hatred of Obama is yours to have (silly as it is) but please try and have some facts available before you post.

Robert (5/11/2012 at 9:40 AM)
So, CMS makes a bunch of unnecessary rules and then relaxes them and takes credit for $5 billion in fictitious "savings". When they made the rules did they say "this will cost $5 billion?". Now Obama will crow about how he is tackling bureaucracy when his administration has [INVALID]d more rules and red tape then all previous administrations combined.