The proposed rule supports President Obama’s call on federal agencies to modify, streamline regulations on business. “We are committed to cutting the red tape for healthcare facilities, including rural providers,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary. “By eliminating outdated or overly burdensome requirements, hospitals and healthcare professionals can focus on treating patients.”
The proposed rule is designed to help healthcare providers operate more efficiently by eliminating regulations that are out of date or no longer needed. Many of the rule’s provisions streamline the standards healthcare 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.
Among other provisions, the proposed rule would save hospitals significant resources by permitting registered dietitians to order patient diets independently, which they are trained to do, without requiring the supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner. This frees up time for physicians and other practitioners to care for patients.
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 healthcare providers. Those rules are saving nearly $1.1 billion across the healthcare system in the first year and more than $5 billion over five years, according to CMS.