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DHMH : regulatoryefficiency1

Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency 

Interim Report, Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency

    ANNOUNCEMENT:  DHMH Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency

    Monday June 27, 2011 

    Because of a strong response of more than 100 requests for regulatory changes, including some that arrived after our original deadline, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is postponing the release of the Interim Report of the Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency to Wednesday, July 27.  In the Interim Report, the Department will classify each proposal as "support," "support with modification," "requires further information," or "decline" and provide a reason for each classification.  There will then be a round of public comment and input before final decisions are made and implemented this fall. 

    ANNOUNCEMENT:  DHMH Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency

Launch: April 4, 2011 

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is establishing an internal Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency to conduct a cross-agency review of DHMH facility regulations to promote greater transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness.   

The Task Force will be co-chaired by Wendy A. Kronmiller, Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs at DHMH, and Mark Luckner, Executive Director, Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC).  Six operating divisions of DHMH will have a representative on the Task Force. 

The purpose of the Task Force is to recommend adjustments to existing regulations that will make the Department’s oversight of facilities and programs more effective and efficient.   

A significant part of the Task Force’s work will be engagement with the public.  The Task Force will solicit public input for ideas through two comment periods.  The Task Force will later propose draft recommendations for public comment before finalizing them for presentation to the Secretary. 

The review will cover regulations of all facilities licensed by DHMH, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, community programs for individuals with mental health, substance use concerns, hospice, hospitals, programs for individuals with developmental disabilities, laboratories, adult day care and in-home services.   

SCOPE  

The Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency will consider changes to COMAR chapters listed on the Office of Health Care Quality website at: http://dhmh.maryland.gov/ohcq/SitePages/Regulations.aspx   

These include Chapters 10.05 (freestanding ambulatory care facilities), 10.07 (hospitals-includes nursing homes, RSA’s, assisted living, and other provider types), 10.10 (laboratories), 10.12 (adult day-care), 10.15 (food service facilities), 10.21 (mental hygiene), 10.22 (developmental disabilities), - 10.47 (alcohol and drug abuse administration), 10.50 (tissue banks).  

The Task Force will focus on adjustments to these regulations to promote efficiency and effectiveness, such as: 

  • Ways to facilitate communication, such as electronic signature
  • Ways to encourage smart technology adoption, such as wireless call bell systems
  • Flexibility for furnishings or physical plant requirements
  • Better support for independence of residents in long-term care and other settings
  • Simplification or electronic systems for documentation without losing value
 

The Task Force will not consider wholesale changes to the regulatory structure.  Such ideas, if compelling, may be referred for more in-depth consideration. 

PROCESS 

        April 4, 2011 Launch of the initial 45-day public comment period through a DHMH hosted, public meeting of the Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency.   At the initial meeting, interested parties will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the work of the Task Force and will be provided a template to facilitate, organize and submit public comments.  

        May 19, 2011  Initial public comment period closes.  

        June 27, 2011 Release of the Task Force’s interim report with draft recommendations and opening of the second 45-day public comment period.   

        August 11, 2011 Second public comment period closes.  

        September 8, 2011 Task Force submits final report to Secretary Sharfstein, which will include specific recommendations for streamlining and updating DHMH regulations, including any legislative proposals for potential consideration during the 2012 legislative session.  

Thank you for participating in this important project.  We believe this will be of great use in facilitating greater efficiency while promoting quality of care in DHMH’s regulatory process.  If you have any questions please contact Wendy Kronmiller, 410/767-0938 (wendy.kronmiller@maryland.gov) or Mark Luckner, 410/260-7046 (mark.luckner@maryland.gov). 

Office of Governor