CMS is now scheduled to publish a final rule that would relax certain federal anti-kickback regulations for providers by Aug. 21, 2021, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia.
- Maryland: CMS has pushed back its deadline for publishing a final rule that would relax certain federal anti-kickback regulations for providers, according to a notice published Monday. CMS in October 2019 proposed a rule to ease the regulations and had been scheduled to finalize the rule by Aug. 21 of this year. However, HHS Deputy Executive Secretary Wilma Robinson in the notice wrote that CMS is now pushing back the final rule's publishing deadline to Aug. 31, 2021, at the latest, because the agency is "still working through the complexity of the issues raised by comments received on the proposed rule and therefore [is] not able to meet" this year's deadline. CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a tweet posted Wednesday wrote that the agency is "not delaying the … rule and is working to finalize it" (Pifer, Healthcare Dive, 8/26; Stein, Inside Health Policy, 8/26 [subscription required]).
- Ohio/West Virginia: The West Virginia-based Sistersville General Hospital will join the Ohio-based Memorial Health System Network on Oct. 1, making it the third hospital to join the network. Brandon Chadock, Sistersville General's CEO, said the partnership will improve the hospital's "ability to provide high-quality care in [West Virginia's] Tyler County" (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/2; Marietta Times, 8/24).
- Ohio: Ohio State University plans to build a $1.79 billion inpatient hospital. The university said the 820-bed hospital will provide leading clinical training, research, and patient care. The hospital will host 60 neonatal ICU bassinets; new treatment, diagnostic, and inpatient service areas; imaging; and an ED. The university currently is awaiting approval from its Board of Trustees to begin the project (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance News, 8/25).