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CMS Administrator Announces Effort to Reduce Providers’ Reporting Burden

November 03, 2017

Earlier this week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced a new initiative to reduce the burden placed on providers to report on quality measures. “Meaningful Measures” will involve CMS assessing only core issues that are the most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.

CMS says this will help to address high impact measurement areas that safeguard public health and promote more focused quality measure development towards outcomes that are meaningful to patients, families, and providers.

“Regulations have their place and are important to ensuring quality, integrity, and safety in our health care system,” said Verma. “But, if rules are misguided, outdated, or are too complex, they can have a suffocating effect on health care delivery by shifting the focus of providers away from the patient and toward unnecessary paperwork, and ultimately increase the cost of care.”

According to Regulatory Overload, a report issued by the American Hospital Association, hospitals, health systems, and post-acute providers must comply with 629 mandatory regulatory requirements that cost $39 million a year to administer. In addition, an average size hospital dedicates 59 full-time employees to regulatory compliance, with more than one quarter being doctors and nurses. Verma said, “That’s a lot of provider time, money, and resources focused on paperwork instead of patients.”The AHA has urged CMS to align quality reporting across all its programs and focus on “measures that matter,” and to suspend and explore alternative approaches to the star ratings.

In addition, HAP has been advocating for measure standardization in Pennsylvania through efforts related to the commonwealth’s Health Innovation in Pennsylvania plan and providing specific recommendations to the Pennsylvania’s Department of Human of Services (DHS) related to the value-based payment component of the HealthChoices contract as well as encouraging CMS to align quality reporting across all of its programs.

Please contact Kate Slatt, HAP’s senior director, innovative payment and care delivery, with any questions.

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