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CHA Submits Comment Letter on Accrediting Organization Changes of Ownership

For Chief Legal Counsel, Licensing and Certification Staff, Quality and Patient Safety Staff

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CHA has submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule on accrediting organization (AO) changes of ownership. The proposed rule outlines a process by which AOs need to obtain CMS approval for a change in ownership and the tight time frames that providers with deemed status must subsequently follow.

In its comments, CHA requests that the agency extend the proposed time frames to allow providers sufficient time to negotiate new contracts and have smoothly transition from one AO to another, or to a state survey agency, to maintain their Medicare certification. Specifically, CHA urges CMS to extend the amount of time for providers to transition if their prior AO loses Medicare approval from the rule’s proposed 180 days to at least one year, with an extension process if additional time is needed.

In addition, CHA requests the notice of an AO losing its Medicare approval be provided directly to affected providers by CMS and the AO instead of through the Federal Register. Finally, when a new AO has assumed ownership, CHA seeks at least three months’ notice and an extension process if needed, prior to the change in ownership going into effect, to allow providers to engage with the new owner, including reviewing potentially new or different contract terms. There is no statutory timeline for finalizing these regulations, but CHA anticipates CMS may wish to move forward with them by the end of the year.