CHA News

CMS Revises Informed Consent Guidance for Hospitals

What’s happening: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Hospital Interpretive Guidelines for Informed Consent.  

What else to know: The guidance clarifies the need to obtain informed consent from patients to perform important surgical tasks, and sensitive or invasive procedures, as well as examinations outside of the medically necessary procedure.  

Hospitals must obtain informed consent when any doctor, medical student, or other health care practitioner performs sensitive exams — such as pelvic, breast, prostate, or rectal exams — on anesthetized patients outside of the medically necessary procedure for educational purposes.  

The policy is effective immediately. California law already prohibits pelvic exams on anesthetized/unconscious patients without informed consent.