The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today requested new and innovative ideas for reducing administrative burdens for health care providers and patients as part of its Patients over Paperwork initiative. Specifically, the agency seeks ways to better present and access its quality reporting, coverage, documentation and prior-authorization requirements; address policies or requirements that are overly burdensome, not achievable or cause unintended consequences in a rural setting; clarify or simplify regulations or operations that pose challenges for beneficiaries dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid; and simplify beneficiary enrollment and eligibility determination. CMS will publish the request for information in the June 11 Federal Register; comments are due Aug. 12. 
 
The AHA has consistently laid out actions that CMS and Congress could take to immediately reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals, health systems and the patients they serve. AHA also participated in CMS’s listening session launching the regulatory relief effort.
 
In response to that input, CMS has taken a number of actions, including eliminating the 25% Rule for long-term care hospitals. The agency also significantly reduced the number of measures required in its quality and value programs, including a nearly 30% reduction in inpatient quality measures and a 36% reduction in outpatient measures. CMS also made the Promoting Interoperability program more flexible for hospitals, and better aligned the PI programs for hospitals and eligible clinicians, for example.

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Chairperson's File
Often quietly and out of the public eye, the vital work of advancing health in America happens on many fronts.