The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the final co-location guidance that hospitals have been waiting on since 2019. Unfortunately that guidance that does little more than reiterate that hospitals should comply with the conditions of participation, or CoP.
The final co-location guidance is applicable to arrangements where a hospital or other Medicare entity governed by CoPs are co-located with a different health care provider. In a February call, CMS addressed the new guidance, reiterating its position that the hospital CoPs continue to limit co-location arrangements significantly.
Notably, the new guidance specifically places the burden on hospitals to demonstrate how their co-location arrangements meet the applicable CoPs. Thus, at the outset of any co-location arrangement, hospitals should carefully consider and document how the arrangement will work and how they will maintain compliance with the CoPs.
Final guidance includes information on applicability, space, contracted services, staffing, emergency services, and final analysis.
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