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May 2014
In this Issue

  • Reg Allowing Multi-Hospital Systems to Combine Medical Staff Must be Delayed

    In a communiqué to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), ISMS and 82 other state and national medical organizations expressed disappointment in a final rule that could dramatically alter the structure of medical and hospital staffs. The groups urge delay of the July 11 effective date to May 12, 2015.

    One chief provision of this rule allows multi-hospital systems to have a single integrated medical staff for the hospital system at large, no longer requiring a medical staff structure at each individual hospital. This policy will hinder physicians' input into hospital programs, especially for those in rural or geographically distant hospitals, and will likely have a negative impact on patient care and system-wide care coordination activities.

    Next month's deadline provides a significant advantage to multi-hospital systems, which may quickly pursue the implementation of a single integrated medical staff model. The expediency of these requests may catch many medical staffs "off guard," pressuring them to quickly decide whether to opt-in and integrate into a single model or opt-out.

    More time is needed to educate medical staffs on the new changes.

    Overall, as a number of issues still remain unclear and require further interpretation, CMS must provide medical staffs clarifying guidance, as well as more time to understand and explore the options.

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