April 2, 2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a letter to its state survey agency directors clarifying that, as long as the information is provided before surgery begins, ASCs can provide notification of patients’ rights, physician financial interests and the ASC’s advance directive policies to all of their patients on the day of surgery, without exception.
ASCA had long advocated for this regulatory revision and has worked closely with those who drafted the final letter to ensure that all of the parties affected by the revised rule will be able to apply it effectively. The clear restatement of the revised rule contained in the letter gives ASCs the support they need to be able to provide timely, patient-focused service to all of their patients and same-day treatment to patients in need.
Although this change became effective on December 23, 2011, CMS did not send an official notification to its state survey agencies at that time. Since the state agencies are responsible for enforcing the standards, some ASCs undergoing Medicare inspections since December 23 have encountered surveyors who were erroneously applying the previous requirement: that ASCs needed to provide this information at least one day before the date of surgery. ASCA worked to ameliorate these situations by providing ASCs with copies of the new regulatory text.
The CMS letter also notes that the interpretive guidelines used by state surveyors will be updated soon to incorporate the rule change. Click here to review a copy of the letter.