Deadline for Comment Submissions on CMS Changes is Here


John Hall at McKnight's Long-Term Care News reported that during the first day of the White House Conference on Aging, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a 403-page proposal of changes for Medicare and Medicaid participation. Industry experts have said that the proposed changes are some of the largest changes to program participation in the last three quarter of a century.

Among many other changes suggested in the proposal, CMS requests for quality assurance and performance improvement standards; infection control, compliance, and ethics mandates; facility-wide assessment rules for determining staffing needs; and even massive changes to clinical practice regulations.

Due to the incredible overhaul proposed by CMS, LeadingAge, a nursing home advocate, posted an open letter urging nursing home operators to submit their own comments on the changes. LeadingAge, of course, is submitting a long list of concerns by today, the deadline for comment submissions, with worries about staffing challenges and a plea to possibly phase in new standards over the next five years, rather than all-at-once.

When asked of why LeadingAge was taking such a prominent position in the discussion over proposed changes, Cheryl Phillips, M.D., Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy for LeadingAge, said that “We support the person-centered intent of some of these new proposed rules [but] many of these requirements are vaguely defined and subject to surveyor interpretation or assume new staff competencies that are also not well defined.” Phillips also added that the move to change “good-faith” clinical practice goals to requirements is setting the bar too high, as some of the staffing proposals for rural facilities are simply “impossible.”

If you’d like to make comments to CMS electronically or by hard-copy, there’s still time. All submissions must be received by September 14, at 5 PM Eastern Time.

To read John Hall's original article, visit McKnight's Long-Term Care News.

To read a summary of the proposal posted in the Federal Register, click here.