In a letter today to the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, AHA laid out actions that Congress could take to immediately reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals, health systems and the patients they serve. The proposals range from cancelling Stage 3 meaningful use requirements for electronic health records to permanently prohibiting the enforcement of direct supervision requirements in critical access and small or rural hospitals. AHA is assembling a report for release this fall that will catalogue in a holistic way the regulatory burden imposed on hospitals and health systems, the letter notes. “As one small example of the volume of recent regulatory activity, in 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services released 49 rules pertaining to hospitals and health systems, comprising almost 24,000 pages of text,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “In addition to the sheer volume, the scope of changes required by the new regulations is beginning to outstrip the field’s ability to absorb them. Moreover, this does not include the increasing use of sub-regulatory guidance (FAQs, blogs, etc.) to implement new administrative policies.” The subcommittee sought input on ways to reduce legislative and regulatory burdens on Medicare providers.