Recent changes to the “Conditions of Participation” (CoPs) for hospitals participating in Medicare and Medicaid will give nurses more flexibility in key areas — nursing care plans, standing orders, medication administration, infection control, and medical staff participation by advance practice registered nurses (APRNs). In the notice of final rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized the contributions and leadership of registered and advance practice nurses, even quoting from ANA’s comments. CMS also decided to grant critical access hospitals (CAHs) more flexibility in how they operate. With the Joint Commission involved in ensuring hospitals comply with the CoPs, the guidelines can also have an effect beyond Medicare/Medicaid hospitals.
Nurses may be interested to know about recent final rules which may directly impact the practice of nursing, patient care and access, and health care policy at the federal level. Executive agencies and departments are required to publish notices of all rules and decisions in the Federal Register, and accept public comments on proposed rules. Final rules are not open for comment, and become part of U.S. law in the Code of Federal Regulations.
The American Medical Association (AMA) 2010 interim House of Delegates meeting was held November 6-9, 2010 in San Diego, with ANA Government Affairs staff the only official observers from the nursing community. The AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses), CGFNS (Council of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) and NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) could not attend. The 541 credentialed delegates, from state and specialty medical societies, considered over 125 resolutions and reports.