The Office of Health Care Financing and the Division of Certificate of Need and Licensing, both within the Health Systems Branch of the Department of Health, today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking. The Health Care Administration Board approved the notice.
The notice of proposal would implement recommendations contained in the 2014 report of the Commissioner of Health to the Governor, entitled Hospital Financial Transparency: Department of Health Recommendation on Hospital Financial Transparency (see http://www.nj.gov/health/healthcare_transparency.shtml). In the notice, the Department proposes (1) new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:96 to create hospital financial transparency standards; (2) amendments at N.J.A.C. 8:31B-3.3 and 4.6 to revise hospital financial reporting standards; and (3) an amendment at N.J.A.C. 8:43G-4.1 to revise the hospital licensing standards governing patient rights.
The proposed new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:96 would require general hospitals (1) to submit to the Department, and post to their websites, their annual audited financial statements and quarterly unaudited financial statements; (2) to hold the annual public meeting that N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.50 requires within 60 days of their submission of audited annual financial statements, and to provide copies of the statements to attendees at that meeting; and (3) to post on their websites a link to information identifying the health benefit plans in which they participate, and to provide a written version of this information to any person on request. In addition, the proposed new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:96 would provide enforcement remedies for noncompliance and procedures for assessment of penalties.
The proposed amendments at N.J.A.C. 8:31B would remove standards that might conflict with the proposed new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:96. The proposed amendment at N.J.A.C. 8:43G would indicate that the ability to obtain information about hospitals’ participation in health benefits plans is a hospital patient right.
The notice of proposal appears in the June 5, 2017, issue of the New Jersey Register. Persons wishing to comment thereon must submit written comments either (1) electronically by August 4, 2017, to http://www.nj.gov/health/legal/ecomments.shtml or (2) by regular mail postmarked on or before August 4, 2017, to Joy L. Lindo, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, New Jersey Department of Health, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360.
LexisNexis provides free online access to the New Jersey Register at http://www.lexisnexis.com/njoal. A copy of the proposal is also available from the Department’s website at http://nj.gov/health/legal/open.shtml.
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