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CMA, AMA urge CMS to delay new rules authorizing system-wide medical staffs



July 11, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Hospitals and Health Facilities Medical Staff Self Governance 

The California Medical Association (CMA), the American Medical Association and dozens of other state and specialty medical associations have asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay for one year new Medicare rules that would allow multi-hospital systems to establish system-wide medical staffs.

CMA commented extensively on this and prior iterations of this rulemaking expressing serious concerns about the proposed amendments to the CoPs and their impact on medical staff self-governance. CMA believes that medical staff self-governance is a vital part of a carefully crafted system designed to ensure the delivery of quality patient care.

The letter says that the organizations have written “to express our extreme disappointment with the CMS final rule…..that makes unprecedented changes to the Medicare Hospital Conditions of Participation (CoPs) that will dramatically alter the make-up and efficacy of hospital medical staffs nationwide.”

The letter asks CMS to delay the effective date of the rule from July 11, 2014, to give medical staffs sufficient time to develop the policies and procedures necessary to comply with the rule.

Major provisions of the final rule related to medical staffs are:

  • Multi-hospital systems may have the option of having a single unified and integrated medical staff, but a majority of each medical staff must affirmatively vote to accept a unified and integrated medical staff structure or to opt out of such a structure and to maintain a separate and distinct medical staff for their respective hospitals.
  • The final rule does not require members of the medical staff to serve as representatives on the hospital governing body. However, hospital governing bodies must periodically throughout the year consult directly with each medical staff within the multi-hospital system.

CMA will continue to look for advocacy opportunities to advance physician leadership in hospital and other settings.

Click here to read the letter.

Contact: Yvonne Choong, (800) 786-4262 or ychoong@cmadocs.org.

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