AHA today commended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ efforts to reduce unnecessary burdens and reporting requirements with regard to Medicare Conditions of Participation, but said the agency should continue to require ambulatory surgery centers to have a written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. “While rare, complications do occur in ambulatory surgery patients, and when they do, the patient’s life can depend on the existence of a plan in which the ASC team takes appropriate steps in the moment to both stabilize the patient to the extent possible and transfer the patient to a nearby hospital where additional appropriate treatment can occur,” the association wrote, commenting on a proposed rule to reduce CoP burden and increase efficiency and transparency. AHA also urged CMS to retain the 30-day requirement for preoperative medical history and physical examination requirements for hospitals and ASCs until more evidence-based guidelines become available. Among other comments, the association voiced support for allowing health care systems to take a system-wide approach to Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement and Infection Control, and for proposed changes to Medicare reapproval requirements for transplant centers and emergency preparedness testing requirements for hospitals.

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