The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is hopping on the deregulatory bandwagon.
CMS is the Department of Health and Human Services agency that administers Medicare and other health insurance programs. In an Aug. 22 blog post on an agency webpage, Administrator Seema Verma touted rule reassessments.
“Our healthcare system is made up of a community of professionals who want to do good,” she wrote, recalling emergency responders who recently saved her husband’s life after an airport heart attack. “As the Administrator of CMS, I am inspired by this and feel compelled to do everything I can to support these caregivers. Our agency must make it easier for them to focus on doing the work that patients and families need them to do without causing them to be subject to excessive regulatory and administrative burden”
“That’s why in all of our recent proposed rules, CMS has asked healthcare providers for their thoughts on how to simplify our regulations,” she added. “Over the next few months we will be announcing additional initiatives to ease the burden our government places on healthcare providers.”
Some regulations are necessary “to ensure patient safety and well-being, and to protect the integrity of federal health care programs,” Verma wrote. “However, over the past few years, regulations have tilted more towards creating burdens than towards serving as a safeguard for the programs. This shift is now having a negative impact on patient care, hindering innovation, and increasing healthcare costs.
To make sure CMS is “addressing the actual pain points that doctors feel,” it is reaching out to medical professionals regarding the regulatory-based challenges they face.
“We have heard time and again that documentation for payment and for quality reporting is unnecessarily time-consuming and keeps clinicians working late into the night just to keep up on paperwork,” Verma wrote. “Electronic health records that were supposed to make providers’ lives easier by freeing up more time to spend on patient care have distanced them from their patients. New payment structures that were meant to increase coordination have added yet another layer of rules and requirements.”
“No one went into medicine to become a paperwork expert,” she added. “The entire CMS team and I are committed to doing our part to make sure that these caring professionals can do their job without the burden of unnecessary regulation.”