Ronald Reagan

This Date in UCSF History: Hospital rules relax with Reagan

Friday, September 20, 2019

Originally published on Sept. 23, 1982. New rules devised for hospitals by the Reagan administration would “relax or repeal” many of the requirements governing staff qualifications, sanitation, social services, medical libraries and patient food services, according to the New York Times.

The move is part of the President's effort to eliminate “costly and unnecessary” regulations.

According to an analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, the proposals would represent the biggest change in federal regulation of the hospital industry since 1966.

The new rule would: Eliminate the requirement that hospitals comply with state laws on reporting communicable diseases and conducting autopsies; Eliminate standards for social workers in hospitals; Delete the requirement that each hospital have a medical library; Delete numerous requirements designed to ensure sanitary conditions for the storage and preparation of food; and Eliminate many of the requirements concerning the education, training and experience of hospital administrators and medical staff.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Richard Schweiker has given preliminary approval to the new rules, and department officials hope to issue them next month for public comment.