On June 15, 2012, the CMS Office of Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey & Certification Group announced that it would not meet its July 16, 2012 deadline to publish interpretive guidelines for use by state survey agencies when enforcing recent changes to the hospital and critical access hospital conditions of participation (CoPs). (See the May 14, 2012 edition of Health Headlines for a discussion of the revised CoPs, available here.) Moreover, CMS has instructed state survey agencies not to offer their own interpretations of the requirement that at least one member of a hospital's medical staff serve on its governing board. CMS also has directed state survey agencies not to issue citations for perceived violations of this CoP, as the agency is "carefully reviewing ... comments and will reconsider this requirement in future rulemaking."

The announcement states that CMS is "working diligently" to develop the guidelines, but because of the "number and complexity" of the CoP revisions, CMS will not be able to issue such guidance by the July 16 deadline.

CMS's announcement is available here.