CMS Round Up

CMS Roundup (Feb. 9, 2024)

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Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides an at-a-glance summary of news from around the agency.

CMS Posts Transcripts from 10 Patient-Focused Listening Sessions for the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program 

February 1: CMS posted transcripts from 10 patient-focused listening sessions, one for each of the selected drugs, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program. The listening sessions took place between Oct. 30 and Nov. 15, 2023. They provided an opportunity for patients, caregivers, consumer and patient organizations, and other interested parties to share input relevant to the 10 drugs selected for the first cycle of negotiation, which are covered under Medicare Part D. 

CMS Updates Policy on Texting of Patient Information and Orders for Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals

February 8: CMS issued a quality standard memo that updates our current policy for texting patient orders based on current practice and stakeholder feedback. This new policy will allow hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) the flexibility to include text orders, via a secure platform, to be entered into the patient’s medical record or electronic health record in a manner that is compliant with the medical record Conditions of Participation (CoPs). To comply, all providers must utilize and maintain systems/platforms that are secure and encrypted and minimize the risks to patient privacy and confidentiality, as per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations. This flexibility should provide additional efficiencies in delivering timely patient care and drive innovation in the health care system.

CMS Announces Proposed Rule to Strengthen Accrediting Organization Oversight and to Prevent Conflict of Interest

February 8: CMS announced a proposed rule  for Strengthening Oversight of Accrediting Organizations (AOs) and Preventing AO Conflict of Interest. AOs survey over 9,000 health care providers and suppliers participating in the Medicare/Medicaid program to ensure they meet CMS compliance standards. When AOs request and receive CMS approval to determine compliance on behalf of CMS for facilities they accredit, they take on a public trust responsibility to hold those providers and suppliers accountable. This proposed rule bolsters AO performance and oversight to ensure providers meet health and safety standards, so patients receive high-quality, safe care from our nation’s health care facilities. Changes in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) include addressing conflicts of interest with health care facilities accredited by the AO; holding AOs accountable to the same standards as state Survey Agencies (SAs) that also conduct surveys on behalf of CMS, and improving consistency and standardization in surveys nationwide. The NPRM more closely aligns AO survey activity requirements and staff training with those of SAs. The NPRM also requires AOs with poor performance to submit a publicly reported correction plan to CMS. The NPRM aligns with CMS’ national quality strategy to shape a resilient, high-quality health care system.

Other Recent Releases: 

January 29: Participation Continues to Grow in CMS’ Accountable Care Organization Initiatives in 2024 

January 30: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Action to Increase Access to Sickle Cell Disease Treatments 

January 31: CMS Announces Calendar Year (CY) 2025 Medicare Advantage and Part D Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Medicare Advantage (MA) Part C and Part D Payment Policies  

February 1: Biden-Harris Administration Makes First Offer for Drug Price Negotiation Program, Launches New Resource Hub to Help People Access Lower-Cost Drugs  

February 6: HHS Approves New Mexico’s Request to Expand Access to Critical Behavioral Health Services Through Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams 


CMS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serves the public as a trusted partner and steward, dedicated to advancing health equity, expanding coverage, and improving health outcomes. The agency protects public health by administering the Medicare program and working in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, CHIP, and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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