In late September 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Omnibus Burden Reduction (Conditions of Participation) Final Rule that removes Medicare regulations identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and other healthcare providers in an effort to reduce inefficiencies. This rule finalizes the provisions of the following three distinct proposed rules:
- Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction (“Omnibus Burden Reduction”), published September 20, 2018;
- Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes to Promote Innovation, Flexibility, and Improvement in Patient Care, published June 16, 2016; and
- Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Dialysis Facilities, published November 4, 2016.
While each proposed rule was published separately, CMS is finalizing them in one final rule. Each of these rules includes reforms to Medicare regulations identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on healthcare providers and suppliers. In addition, the hospital and CAH rule updates the requirements for hospitals and CAHs to have infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship programs that are not only active and facility-wide, but which also demonstrate adherence to nationally recognized guidelines for the surveillance, prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections and other infectious diseases, as well as best practices for the optimization of antibiotic use through stewardship in order to effectively reduce the development and transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms.