Addressing the AHA Annual Membership Meeting today, Eric Hargan, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, focused on the importance of regulatory reform and innovation to advancing valued-based care. “I believe there has never been an administration more focused on reducing regulatory burden than this one,” he said, noting that the agency has saved more than 53 million hours of paperwork for physicians alone. He said most people responding last year to the agency’s request for information on potential reforms to the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback statute “believed that changes are needed to support the move to value-based payments,” including AHA comments that highlighted how new flexibilities would help patients. He said the agency is focused on how it can improve the laws through incremental innovation, fundamental reform of definitions, and new flexibilities.

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