CMS Seeks Input on Potential Conflicts of Interest Arising from Accrediting Organizations Offering Consulting Services to Providers they Survey

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requesting public comments on actual or perceived conflicts of interest that could arise when Medicare-approved accrediting organizations (AOs) also offer fee-based consulting services for Medicare-participating providers and suppliers.  Such services — which CMS points out are not currently prohibited by law or regulation — may include: Assistance for clinical and non-clinical leaders in understanding AO and CMS standards for compliance Review of facility standards, processes, policies and simulation of a real survey Identification of and technical assistance to address areas needing improvement Educational consultative services While CMS observes that such services “may be useful for entities to learn to comply with the requirements and identify gaps in compliance,” CMS is concerned that “this dual function may undermine, or appear to undermine, the integrity of the accreditation…

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