The AHA today laid out actions the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could take to immediately reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals, health systems and the patients they serve. Submitted in response to the agency’s request for information on flexibilities and efficiencies, the suggestions range from suspending the agency’s faulty hospital star ratings to cancelling Stage 3 meaningful use requirements for electronic health records and permanently prohibiting the enforcement of direction supervision requirements in critical access and small or rural hospitals. AHA is assembling a report for release later 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 hospital and health system-related rules, comprising almost 24,000 pages of text,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “Moreover, this does not include the increasing use of sub-regulatory guidance (FAQs, blogs, etc.) to implement new administrative policies. 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.”