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You can share your opinion on these proposed rules – but hurry
e-Reports, July 26, 2010
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A comment period is now open on two proposed federal rules. Until the latter part of August, you can tell the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) how these new regulations may impact you and your patients in the everyday practice of medicine – and influence federal decisionmakers.

Physician disclosure for MRI, CT and PET
The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act has new provisions involving physician disclosure for referring and billing patients for certain imaging services. The law requires doctors to give patients a written list of other professionals in a 25-mile area where they live who can provide the same services.

Other parts of the regulation pertain to emergency care and documentation. Find the proposed rule in the July 13 Federal Register in section 40224 on page 36.

The deadline for submitting comments is August 24.

Substance prescribing and long-term care
You can also offer your opinions to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration about actions to stop allowing pharmacies to dispense schedule II drugs for nursing home and hospice patients based on chart orders.

Recently, the agency has taken action against pharmacies in Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, claiming the Controlled Substances Act requires that physicians provide pharmacists with written orders except in emergencies.

The DEA is now strictly enforcing compliance with this regulation, which is known to cause delayed treatment for pain because of additional steps physicians and nurses are required to take to help a patient.

“I encourage you to take this opportunity to make your voice heard during this comment period if you believe your patients are negatively impacted by this regulation,” said Fred Ridge, M.D., ISMA president. “It's our last chance to convince federal regulators to rethink the regulation before our patients experience pain, injury or inconvenience needlessly – due to well-meaning but misguided efforts to fix perceived problems in health care delivery.”

You can read an article on this issue from American Medical News on the AMA website.

Read the DEA notice soliciting feedback here (scroll to bottom of page). See section E on page 37469.

The deadline for submitting comments is August 30.

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