Smith Welcomes Proposed Delay on Physician Supervision Regulations

Jul 14, 2017 Issues: Health Care

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a two-year delay on enforcement of physician supervision regulations at Critical Access Hospitals in its 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rule.

“Arbitrary physician supervision regulations threaten the ability of providers in rural areas to deliver affordable, efficient care to patients,” Smith said. “There are more than 50 Critical Access Hospitals in the Third District, and this rule would place a great strain on their operations, hindering access to care for many Nebraskans. 

“I am pleased CMS has proposed a two-year delay on enforcement of these requirements, and I urge the agency to include this delay in the final OPPS rule. We must continue to work toward permanent regulatory relief for rural hospitals.”

The physician supervision rule requires a physician’s presence and supervision over nearly all routine procedures administered in hospitals. In December 2013, Smith introduced H.R. 3769 to delay enforcement of physician supervision regulations at Critical Access Hospitals for at least one year and until CMS completed an analysis of the impacts of this rule. He reintroduced the bill in January 2015: H.R. 170, the Rural Health Care Provider Relief Act.

Smith’s provision to require the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to report on the economic and staffing impacts of physician supervision requirements on Critical Access Hospitals was included in H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the House in November 2016 and was signed into law by President Obama.