Press Release

New Report Shows Regulatory Burden Overwhelming Providers, Diverting Clinicians From Patient Care


Contact:          Marie Johnson - (202) 626-351

                       Colin Milligan - (202) 638-5491


WASHINGTON (October 25, 2017) – The American Hospital Association today released a new analysis showing that providers spend nearly $39 billion a year solely on  administrative activities related to regulatory compliance. In addition, the analysis found that an average-sized hospital dedicates 59 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to regulatory compliance; one-quarter of those employees are physicians, nurses and other health professionals who would otherwise be caring for patients.

While some regulation is clearly necessary to ensure safe and accountable care to patients, close to 24,000 pages of hospital-related federal regulations were published in 2016 alone. Providers are constantly challenged to interpret and implement new or revised regulations while maintaining their core mission to provide high-quality patient care. 

“There is growing frustration for those on the front lines providing care in a system that often forces them to spend more time pushing paper rather than treating patients. Too often, these regulatory requirements seem detached from good and efficient patient care,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO, American Hospital Association. “The regulatory burden is substantial and unsustainable, and reducing the administrative complexity of health care would allow providers to spend more time on patients, not paperwork.”

The study looked at nine areas in order to assess the administrative impact that existing federal regulations have on providers, ranging from quality reporting to mandatory recordkeeping. The analysis found that providers are required to comply with 629 discrete regulatory requirements across nine areas from four different federal agencies.

In addition, an average-sized community hospital spends $7.6 million annually to comply with federal regulations, this equates to $1,200 every time a patient is admitted. Reducing the administrative burden will enable providers to focus more on patient care, and reinvest resources to improve care, improve health and reduce costs.

A link to the analysis can be found at

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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