CMS has proposed that they improve their payments to rural hospitals, in an effort to improve rural health in the US. While this isn’t directly relevant to ESRD, it will certainly be relevant whenever a kidney patient needs services at a hospital in a rural area. Find the Proposed Rule and Request for Comment at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-05-07/pdf/2018-08705.pdf, and a Notice of Corrections at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-06-20/pdf/2018-13152.pdf. Comments are due by June 25, 2019. For background information see https://www.cms.gov/blog/putting-our-rethinking-rural-health-strategy-action and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/FY2019-IPPS-Proposed-Rule-Home-Page-Items/FY2019-IPPS-Proposed-Rule-Regulations.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=ascending.
CMS is preparing to improve rules for Accrediting Organizations (AOs) that on contract survey healthcare facilities for Medicare Certification. They are requesting public comment on whether it should be considered a conflict of interest for an AO to also accept consulting fees from the corporation that’s opening the new facility. Comments are due by approximately February 18, 2019 (sixty days after publication of the RFI in the Federal Register, scheduled for December 20, 2018). The RFI is summarized at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-program-cms-requests-stakeholder-feedback-accrediting-organizations-conflict-interest-and. The proposed Federal Register text can be found at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-27506.pdf.