WASHINGTONThe Department of Health and Human Services wants to change the rules that govern hospital participation in Medicare and Medicaid programs. Whereas existing regulations focus on whether hospitals have systems or procedures in place, the proposed new rules would emphasize a hospitals actual delivery of care, its overall performance, and the impact of its treatment on the state of patients health.
The new regulations require that new patients receive comprehensive assessment of their needs and written plans of care and that hospitals monitor the quality of care they provide in an objective way, focusing on things like patient satisfaction and medications errors.
Further, hospitals must notify patients of their rights to file grievances, have advance directive followed, participate in developing and implementing care plans, be free from verbal and physical abuse, and have privacy and confidentiality protected. Finally, hospitals must enact systematic plans for improving the quality of care and demonstrate that they are improving that quality.