AHCA Call to Action: Requirements of Participation Webinar – June 1

Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

AHCA Call to Action: Submit Comments to CMS on Requirements of Participation

Deadline:  June 26

Members often ask me how they can help our efforts in D.C. There are many ways for you to help, but today I have a very specific request. We need you to submit comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide your thoughts on the updated Long Term Care Facility Requirements of Participation for Medicare and Medicaid. If you and other members answer this call, we have a real chance to get major portions of the Requirements updated, repealed, or delayed.  

As background, CMS updated the Requirements of Participation in a 185-page rule finalized in 2016. Implementation of the new Requirements began in November of last year and is currently slated to be phased in over the next two years. This update to the Requirements of Participation contains scores of new regulations and would create an enormous financial burden on all of us. Even CMS projected that the cost per building to implement these new rules would be $241,000 over the first five years. We believe it will be much more than that.

One of our very early asks to newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has been to delay this rule and repeal portions of it.  We are pleased that he is listening. In our proposed payment rule, where we receive a 1.0 percent Medicare increase, CMS asks for input on the financial and regulatory burden of the requirements. Of course, AHCA/NCAL is preparing a response. But we believe that for the Secretary and his team to fully understand the impact of the rule, they should to hear from you - the people actually doing the important work that you do every day.

Submitting comments is not simple, but you can do it. You may recall that when the Requirements of Participation rule was initially proposed, we had over 9,000 comments submitted. Those comments did not stop the rule, but they did cause CMS to improve the rule in many respects, including the multi-year phase-in I mentioned earlier. Now, we need a large number of our members to step up once again to submit detailed comments to identify the regulatory burden imposed by this final rule.  

If you are available, please join us for a short webinar on Thursday, June 1 at 2 PM EASTERNAHCA Call to Action: Requirements of Participation, presented by Clif Porter, Senior Vice President, Government Relations. The recording will be available on ahcancalED if you are unable to join at this time.

Following our webinar, please direct the appropriate staff in your organization to:

  • Review these instructions for submitting comments. 
  • Draft comments that discuss the points that have concerned you the most and represent the greatest burden for your operation.   
    • Make very specific asks of CMS.  
    • You could highlight the impact of an additional regulatory burden by discussing the budgetary impact, using real dollar estimates, on your facility.
    • You could also ask for delay, or total repeal, or anything else that makes sense to you. Here are some high level talking points about the rule that will give you an idea of some of the topics you may want to cover.
    • It is critical that the comments not be copied and pasted from our talking points, but unique to your concerns.
  • CMS will only accept comments until June 26, but we encourage you to respond immediately.
  • Providing comments on the Requirements of Participation does not prohibit you or your staff from also providing comments on the SNF PPS rule. We encourage you to submit separate comments on that rule, as well. 

Time and time again, AHCA members have demonstrated that when we pull together we can make a difference. Getting the Administration to give us relief on the Requirements of Participation is one of the Board's top goals this year. You can help us make that happen.  

Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Mark Parkinson
President & CEO 

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACT:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15