Friday, November 19, 2010

Power to the Patients! New Rules Forbid Discrimination in Medicare Facilities

Patient advocates have commented by the thousands in an effort to end any real or perceived discrimination. In April, 2010, President Obama echoed these pleas...as of this week, new rules have been established and will go into full effect very soon. 

In a press release released yesterday by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it appears as if new rules will give more rights to patients. The gist of the press release being that patients, under the new rules, can select their own visitors.

These new rules will come in the form of an update to the Conditions of Participation (CoPs), standards that apply to all facilities under the Medicare/Medicaid system. It also pertains to patients in such hospitals.

The focus of the press release was on same-sex domestic partners. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated that “basic human rights” and “equal rights” support the new rules.

How did these new rules come about? This past April, President Obama made it clear that the HHS was to develop new standards and guidelines related to anti-discrimination. The hospitals affected will be required to implement these new policies in a written, formalized document.

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