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CMS Proposed Rule to Reduce Administrative Burden on Providers

A CMS proposed rule leverages the Patients Over Paperwork initiative to cut administrative burden and save providers $1.12 billion per year.

A new CMS proposed rule aims to reduce administrative burden on healthcare organizations.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- A newly-released CMS proposed rule removes unnecessary Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare facilities in an effort to reduce administrative burden on providers and fulfill the aims of the federal agency’s Patients Over Paperwork initiative.

These proposed updates could save healthcare providers an estimated $1.12 billion per year, according to CMS.

The proposed rule is informed by stakeholder feedback submitted in response to CMS requests for information (RFIs). 

“We are committed to putting patients over paperwork, while at the same time increasing the quality of care and ensuring patient safety and bolstering program integrity,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a recent press release.  “With this proposed rule, CMS takes a major step forward in its efforts to modernize the Medicare program by removing regulations that are outdated and burdensome. 

The proposals target inefficiencies in Medicare’s conditions of participation, conditions for coverage, and other participation requirements while also ensuring regulations maintain an emphasis on protecting patient health and safety.

“The changes we’re proposing will dramatically reduce the amount of time and resources that healthcare facilities have to spend on CMS-mandated compliance activities that do not improve the quality of care, so that hospitals and healthcare professionals can focus on their primary mission: treating patients,” Verma stated.

One key provision is geared toward reducing the administrative burden associated with supporting patients in need of organ transplants. The provision cuts a duplicative requirement on transplant programs that call upon providers to submit data and other information repeatedly for re-approval by Medicare.

Other provisions in the proposed rule streamline reporting requirements for hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical centers, allow multi-hospital systems to have unified Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement programs for member hospitals, simplify ordering processes for portable x-rays, and remove duplicative ownership disclosure requirements for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs).

CMS is seeking stakeholder feedback on the proposed rule until November 19, 2018.

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