On November 19, 2010, CMS published a final rule to revise the Medicare conditions of participation (COPs) for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to strengthen visitation rights for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Specifically, Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals and CAHs will be required to have written policies and procedures regarding the visitation rights of patients, including those setting forth any clinically-necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation that the hospital or CAH may need to place on such rights, as well as the reasons for the clinical restriction or limitation. The rule is effective January 18, 2011.