HAP works with CMS to address Obamacare-related hospital concerns


HAP works with CMS to address Obamacare-related hospital concerns.  

The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) has responded favorably to regulations suggested by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to tackle Affordable Care Act-related hospital safety issues.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), CMS has extended a degree of flexibility that allows hospitals to avoid being forced to contract with multiple entities, specifically federally approved Patient Safety Organizations (PSO) in addition to CMS — effectively lightening the administrative load for providers.

Originally, HAP and Pennsylvania member hospitals had created a reporting system in 2002 for communicating important incidents to a state agency called the Patient Safety Authority — the first of its kind in the U.S. — to streamline efficiency and reduce errors.

When ACA was passed in 2010, it imposed new regulations on facilities with over 50 beds and complicated the system, according to HAP. By creating a federal insurance marketplace, ACA structured new “qualified health plans” to be implemented in two distinct phases, with the first set in motion during 2015 and the second slated for launch in January of 2017.

HAP viewed the second phase as potentially problematic because the existing Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, with its established patient safety evaluation system, does not technically qualify as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO). CMS has taken steps to recognize the discrepancy by adding explicit language to the regulations.

HAP also expressed approval of CMS’s acceptance of evidence-based initiatives for demonstrating compliance. It encourages members to submit comments to CMS by Dec. 21.

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