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  • Washington Highlights

    CMS Releases Proposed Rule to Strengthen Accrediting Organization Oversight

    Katherine Gaynor, Hospital Policy and Regulatory Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    On Feb. 8, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule titled, “Strengthening Oversight of Accrediting Organizations (AOs) and Preventing AO Conflict of Interest, and Related Provisions.” This proposed rule seeks to align current policies with the agency’s National Quality Strategy to strengthen oversight of AOs, reduce conflicts of interest, and enhance consistency in the survey process.

    Specifically, the proposals would impose the following: align AO standards with the state survey agency standard, including a requirement that AO surveys be unannounced; require AO standards to match the conditions of participation at a minimum and allow the AO standards to exceed the CoPs; and enhance enforcement by removing deemed accredited status from providers and suppliers if they are terminated from Medicare or Medicaid. The proposed rule also includes limitations and reporting requirements for AOs that offer fee-based consulting services to health care facilities they accredit to address potential conflicts of interest. This comes as a response to an request for information issued by the CMS in 2018 aimed at gathering information related to potential conflicts of interest related to AOs providing fee-based consulting services to the facilities they accredit.

    Comments on this proposed rule are due April 15.