Congress and the administration should pursue actions, including addressing the high costs of prescription drugs and regulatory burden on providers, that will help reduce the cost of care without putting access at risk, AHA Vice President of Payment Policy Joanna Hiatt Kim said today at a congressional briefing on health care costs hosted by the Alliance for Health Policy. During the panel, Kim shared findings from a 2017 AHA report that showed non-clinical regulatory requirements cost providers nearly $39 billion a year and divert clinicians from patient care. “There’s a lot of frustration in the current system, much of which comes from regulatory and administrative burden,” Kim said. “If a patient is meeting with their physician, who has to spend a certain amount of time typing in an EHR [electronic health record] instead of talking to you, that’s not good for anyone.” In addition, she spoke about AHA’s commitment to improving patients' access to information on the price of their care. Earlier this week, responding to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services request for information, AHA recommended, among other actions, that the agency convene a multi-stakeholder process to advance price transparency in health care. Also participating on the panel, moderated by Kaiser Health News Editor Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D., were Gerard Anderson, professor of health policy and management and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management; Damon Francis, M.D., chief medical officer of Health Leads; Dan Leonard, president of the National Pharmaceutical Council; and Glenn Rodriguez, M.D., board chair for CareOregon and adjunct associate professor for family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. 

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