CMS Seeking to Reduce RHC Regulatory Burden

Nathan Baugh, Director of Government Affairs



CMS released a proposed rule on September 20th seeking to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens within the Medicare program. The goal of the proposal is to allow health care professionals to focus more resources and time on providing care by reducing regulatory requirements that might impede that.

NARHC is happy to see that CMS has listened to our concerns and has included several proposals to reduce burdens for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).

In the last few years, RHCs have had an influx of new regulations and guidelines to comply with. From emergency preparedness to Affordable Care Act non-discrimination rules to the new interpretive guidelines in appendix G for survey and certification, it seemed like the regulatory relief agenda was never coming to the RHC program.

However, this proposed rule may finally bring some much-needed burden reduction to the RHC program. Amongst the RHC-specific changes are:

  • Changing the annual review of patient care policies and program evaluations to an every-other-year requirement.
  • Allowing facilities to review their Emergency Preparedness program every other year instead of every year.
  • Eliminating the requirement that RHCs must document their communication with emergency preparedness officials.
  • Allowing facilities to train their staff on emergency preparedness every other year.
  • Reducing the number of emergency preparedness exercises required per year to one.

CMS is seeking feedback on these specific proposals.

CMS is also soliciting ideas from the public on regulatory relief within the Medicare program. NARHC plans to submit comments to CMS with suggestions on additional ways to reduce burden on RHCs.

We encourage the RHC community to submit their own comments because the more CMS hears from RHCs the more likely it is that we can get CMS to finalize this regulatory relief. You can submit comments HERE.

Comments are due by November 19th, 2018.

Nathan Baugh,
(202) 543-0348