According to provider representatives and trade groups, the requirement that physicians supervise the administration of outpatient therapeutic services to Medicare patients in critical access and small rural hospitals is onerous and could limit patient access to such services.

The people who run those hospitals don’t agree.

That is the conclusion reached by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which looked into the matter after Congress overturned a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services supervision requirement in the 21st Century Cures Act because, as MedPAC observed,

CAH and rural hospital representatives…expressed concerns that, because they have difficulty recruiting physicians to practice in rural areas, the direct supervision requirement may limit beneficiary access to care in their hospitals.

But after investigating, primarily by interviewing critical access and small rural hospital officials, MedPAC concluded that

We did not hear from the CAHs that the supervision requirements cause a significant economic burden.   The CAHs have put in place processes with current staff to offer what they believe to be the appropriate supervision…

 MedPAC reported its findings in a new report to Congress.  Go here to see the MedPAC report Physician Supervision Requirements in Critical Access Hospitals and Small Rural Hospitals.