We know that every day America’s hospitals and health systems—and other health care providers—are faced with the daunting task of complying with a growing number of federal regulations.
 
Make no mistake about it—we understand the need for “responsible” regulation—that ensures public accountability in meeting the highest standards of care … and improves the beneficiary experience.
 
At the same time, hospitals are constantly challenged to understand and implement new or revised regulations—all while keeping track of the old ones—and doing so as they meet and maintain their core mission of providing high-quality services.
 
There is growing frustration about the amount of time and resources being devoted to pushing paper—or its electronic version—versus spending time on care.
 
The bottom line: patients have less time with their caregivers; they have unnecessary hurdles in receiving care; and the regulatory burden increases health care costs.
 
Last October the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a regulatory relief initiative in which we are pleased to be a partner.
 
This week we had the opportunity to host CMS Administrator Seema Verma for a special AHA Town Hall Webcast focused on the regulatory landscape and the work CMS is considering that could provide regulatory relief to hospitals and health systems. We appreciate CMS’s focus on reducing the regulatory burden and the leadership Ms. Verma has already provided in this arena.
 
Among other topics, she stated her commitment for CMS to support a transition from a fee-for-service system to one that favors value and outcomes—a goal we at the AHA strongly share. She also shared with us her plans for innovation around payment reform, including accountable care organizations. In addition, we discussed the barriers to implementation of new payment models posed by outdated rules such as the Stark law.
 
We look forward to working with CMS to ensure that we have more responsible and reasonable regulations—ones that reflect the realities that doctors and nurses face on the front lines—to enable them to provide care in an efficient and effective manner.
 
Please stay tuned for more developments on this front from us in the future.