CMS Issues Information Regarding Physician 24/7 Coverage Rule

On December 14, CMS issued a survey and certification letter (S&C-08-07) to all state survey agencies providing guidance on enforcing the physician coverage notice requirements included in the Final Inpatient Prospective Payment System (PPS) rule, effective October 1, 2007.

Specifically, the rule requires hospitals that do not have a physician on-site 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to provide their patients with a written notice at the beginning of an outpatient visit or inpatient stay.  The notice not only must explain that a physician is not on-site at all times but also must indicate how the hospital will respond if the patient develops an emergency medical condition.

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