Hospitals and health systems are drowning in a sea of rules and regulations, but the prospects for immediate relief are uncertain, according to an expert panel yesterday at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting. AHA board member Michelle Hood, president and CEO of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and moderator for the discussion, said the regulatory burden is having a “negative rather than value-added impact” on promoting efficient, high-quality care. Stephanie Anthony, director at Manatt Health, said “hospitals are spending more and more time on paperwork and less time on patient care.” Sheree Kanner, a partner with Hogan Lovells, said fraud and abuse laws “pose a serious obstacle to clinical integration and care transformation” because they were designed for a fee-for-service world. Doug Badger, a senior fellow at Galen Institute, said President Trump’s January executive order aimed at reducing regulatory burden is a welcome step, but could take time to implement at the Department of Health and Human Services due to understaffing.

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