The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed regulations that would save nearly $676 million a year, and $3.4 billion over five years, that would eliminate regulations on hospitals and health-care providers that have been identified as “unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome,” Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, announced today. The rule supports President Barack Obama’s call for federal agencies to streamline regulations on businesses.
The proposed rule is designed to help providers operate more efficiently by getting rid of regulations that are out of date or no longer necessary. They would streamline standards providers must meet in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs without compromising patient safety.
Provisions of the proposed rule would:
—Permit registered dietitians to order patients’ diets independently, without supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner.
—Allow trained nuclear medicine technicians in hospitals to prepare radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine without needing the supervising physician or pharmacist to be present.
—Eliminate a redundant data submission requirement and an unnecessary survey process for transplant centers while maintaining strong federal oversight.
—Reduce the burden on small critical-access hospitals, rural clinics and federally qualified health centers by eliminating the requirement that a physician be held to an excessively prescriptive schedule for being onsite once every two weeks. The provision addresses the geographic remoteness of many of these facilities and recognizes improvements in telemedicine and other areas.
“We are committed to cutting the red tape for health care facilities, including rural providers,” Sebelius said in a statement. “By eliminating outdated or overly burdensome requirements, hospitals and health care professionals can focus on treating patients.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized rules last May that reduce regulations and save nearly $1.1 billion in the first year and more than $5 billion over five years.