"We are committed to cutting the red tape for health care facilities, including rural providers," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "By eliminating outdated or overly burdensome requirements, hospitals and health care professionals can focus on treating patients."
The proposed rule is designed to help health care providers to operate more efficiently by getting rid of regulations that are out of date or no longer needed. Many of the rule's provisions streamline the standards health care providers must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs without jeopardizing beneficiary safety.
For example, a key provision reduces the burden on very small critical access hospitals, as well as rural health 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. This provision seeks to address the geographic barriers and remoteness of many rural facilities, and recognize telemedicine improvements and expansions that allow physicians to provide many types of care at lower costs, while maintaining high-quality care.
Among other provisions, the proposed rule would:
· Permit trained nuclear medicine technicians in hospitals to prepare radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine without the supervising physician or pharmacist constantly being present, which helps speed services to patients, particularly during off hours.
As part of the President's regulatory reform initiative, CMS issued final rules in May last year that also reduce burdensome or unnecessary regulations for hospitals and additional health care providers. Those rules are saving nearly $1.1 billion across the health care system in the first year and more than $5 billion over five years.
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