The AHA today submitted comments on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed rule revising several Medicare Conditions of Participation for hospitals and critical access hospitals. Among other provisions, CMS proposes to adopt specific non-discrimination language for the CoPs, and require hospitals and CAHs to have antibiotic stewardship programs. The AHA supports many of CMS’s proposals but urges the agency to make several revisions “to improve clarity and ensure the final standards are practical and effective in meeting desired outcomes,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. For example, AHA urged the agency to provide technical assistance to help CAHs implement the new programs, and at least a year for CAHs to come into compliance with the requirements. It also urged CMS to carefully review the rule’s potential overlap with other laws, regulations and pending rules “to ensure alignment across the numerous requirements imposed on hospitals and their clinicians.”

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