AHA: CMS sticks to 'antiquated' medical staff structure

The American Hospital Association (AHA) quietly applauded the final rule to the Conditions of Participation, in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week eased up on more than a dozen requirements for hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and other providers, but AHA didn't offer unconditional praise. "Today's announcement provides some much-needed regulatory relief for an overburdened healthcare system. But CMS misses some important opportunities to further modernize the rules to better reflect how care is organized and delivered today," AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said Thursday. Although Umbdenstock said he was pleased that the CoPs allowed one governing board to provide oversight for the hospitals within a system, he said AHA was disappointed CMS didn't allow hospitals to have a single integrated medical staff structure. "Hospitals and medical staff members across the country are working together to streamline all areas of operation, and CMS should not let antiquated organization structure stand in the way." Statement (.pdf)