GREAT NEWS!!!!! Just when we all thought CMS was going to continue their draconian requirements for physician supervision of outpatient hyperbaric treatments (i.e. Physician needs to be in the department while HBO treatments were ongoing), they actually went the opposite direction. It didn’t come easy, it took much protest from some of the largest physician groups and health care organizations in the country to convince CMS that the rules were going to make access to care almost impossible for Medicare beneficiaries.
Supervision of Hospital Outpatient Services:
* Supervision requirements for outpatient services – In order to ensure that hospital outpatient services are appropriately supervised by qualified practitioners while not impeding beneficiary access to these services, and in response to concerns raised by the hospital community, CMS is revising or further defining several current policies for the supervision of outpatient services. First, in CY 2010, CMS will allow certain nonphysician practitioners ‑ specifically physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, and licensed clinical social workers ‑ to provide direct supervision for all hospital outpatient therapeutic services that they are authorized to personally perform according to their state scope of practice rules and hospital-granted privileges. Under current policy, only physicians may provide the direct supervision of these services.
For purposes of on-campus hospital outpatient therapeutic services, CMS is defining “direct supervision” to mean that the physician or nonphysician practitioner must be present anywhere on the hospital campus and immediately available to furnish assistance and direction throughout the performance of the procedure. For services furnished in an off-campus provider-based department, “direct supervision” would continue to mean that the physician or nonphysician practitioner must be present in the off-campus provider-based department and immediately available to furnish assistance and direction throughout the performance of the procedure.