CMS Releases Final Rule To Ease, Reduce Medicare Regulations
The new regulation stems from an executive order that President Obama issued in 2012, which tasked federal agencies to take steps to eliminate outdated and rigid regulations. In February 2013, CMS -- in a proposed rule that received more than 400 comments -- highlighted specific regulations that it planned to eliminate in response to the executive order.
Agency officials said that under the final rule, health care providers would save an estimated $660 million annually and about $3.2 billion over five years.
The new rule:
- Eliminates a requirement that physicians travel to rural or federally qualified health clinics at least once every two weeks, which CMS said is in recognition of physicians' use of telemedicine in remote areas;
- Permits registered dieticians and qualified nutritionists to prescribe diets for patients without a physician's prior approval;
- Gives more flexibility to ambulatory surgical care facilities that have to meet supervision requirements for radiological services;
- Allows nuclear medicine technicians in hospitals to prepare radiopharmaceuticals without the constant supervision of a doctor or pharmacist; and
- Eliminates a repetitive data submission requirement and survey process for transplant facilities (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 5/7).