To deliver higher quality care at lower costs, we must move from fee-for-service payments to “a system in which we’re paying providers to keep people healthy, reduce costs and deliver better outcomes,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma today told AHA members. The administration “is doing everything we can to accelerate the implementation of financial incentives to drive costs down and improve quality,” she said. 
 
Verma addressed members of AHA’s nine Regional Policy Boards at their biennial national meeting in Washington, D.C. The RPBs provide input on public policy issues and identify needs unique to a region and assist in developing programs to meet those needs.
 
In addition to discussing the move to value-based care, Verma highlighted CMS’s ongoing efforts to provide regulatory relief through its Patients Over Paperwork initiative. “We’ve heard your concerns about the Stark Law, and a revision to the rule is in process,” she said. “We’re also aware that prior authorization is a difficult issue. It is an important tool, but it can result in delays in patient care as well as burden.” In 2017, the AHA released an analysis showing that providers spend nearly $39 billion a year solely on administrative activities related to regulatory compliance.
 
Verma also spoke of the need to improve both price and quality transparency, noting CMS is revising its hospital star ratings, as urged by the AHA. “We heard your calls for change, and we look forward to working with you to refine the ratings,” she said.
 

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