The AHA today proposed additional actions that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could take immediately “to reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals, health systems and the patients that we serve.” The actions range from suspending and improving the hospital star ratings, to broadening and improving opportunities to participate in alternative payment models, to permanently prohibiting the enforcement of the 96-hour rule.
 
“We very much appreciate the Administration’s continued willingness to tackle this issue,” AHA wrote, responding to the agency’s request for information on the issue. “Reducing administrative complexity in health care would save billions of dollars annually and allow providers to spend more time on patients, not paperwork. CMS recently provided some important regulatory relief to hospitals, which we greatly appreciate. … However, more work remains to be done.”
 
CMS recently withdrew the long-term care hospital 25% Rule; allowed hospital-based physicians to use their hospital's quality reporting and pay-for-performance measure performance in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System; and finalized a 90-day reporting period for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program for fiscal year 2021, the letter notes. The agency also has proposed to eliminate the direct supervision requirement for outpatient therapeutic services for all hospitals, including critical access hospitals and small rural hospitals having 100 or fewer beds, as AHA has repeatedly urged.
 
In 2017, the AHA released an analysis showing that providers spend nearly $39 billion a year solely on administrative activities related to regulatory compliance.

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