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CMS revises guidelines on informed consent
Under newly revised interpretive guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for informed consent, hospitals are required to list all people performing "specific significant surgical tasks."
The previous interpretive guidelines had raised the ire of many providers because they required the listing of all persons performing parts of the procedure, including closing of a wound. This was problematic especially for teaching hospitals because residents sometimes are asked to close or do a portion of a procedure when they are available to participate, and they may not have been identified during the informed consent process.
The revised guidelines say significant tasks include "harvesting grafts, dissecting tissue, removing tissue, implanting devices, altering tissues," but wound closure is not listed and apparently is exempted.
The revised guidelines also include this statement that gives providers some leeway: "We recognize that at the time of the surgery, unforeseen circumstances may require changing which individual practitioners actually are involved in conducting the surgery."