CMS administrator discusses reducing regulatory burden

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma joined a public webcast hosted by the American Hospital Association (AHA) last week to review administration efforts aimed at reducing regulatory burden on providers.

Health systems, hospitals and post-acute care providers must comply with 629 discrete regulatory requirements across nine domains. CMS, the Office of Inspector General, the Office for Civil Rights and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology are the primary drivers of federal regulations impacting providers.

The frequency and the pace at which regulations change often results in duplication of efforts and a substantial amount of clinician time away from patient care. Administrative tasks related to compliance cost hospitals, health systems and post-acute facilities $39 billion a year, according to an AHA study.

The study revealed that providers dedicate significant resources and money each year to maintain compliance with federal regulations. Reductions in administrative burden would enable providers to focus more on patients, not paperwork, and reinvest resources in improving care processes and outcomes, while reducing costs.