CMS seeks comments on ways to reduce administrative burden

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday released a request for information soliciting stakeholder input on how providers can spend less time on paperwork and more time with patients.

As part of the agency’s Patients over Paperwork initiative, CMS is seeking public comment on ways to improve the healthcare delivery system by reducing unnecessary burdens for clinicians.

“Our goal is to ensure that doctors are spending more time with their patients and less time in administrative tasks,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a written statement. “Since launching Patients over Paperwork in late 2017, CMS has worked closely with the healthcare community to relieve regulatory burden and maintain flexibility and efficiency in Medicare and Medicaid, and we’re excited about the innovative ideas that today’s RFI will bring as we build on our progress and continue to achieve cost and time savings.”

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Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, speaks during a 'Conversations with the Women of America' event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Republican leaders in Congress are angling for another short-term funding measure to avert a government shutdown at the end of this week while trying to keep a dispute over immigration separate from their attempts to get agreement on spending priorities. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

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Specifically, CMS is interested in soliciting new ideas that will “help broaden perspectives about potential solutions,” including:

  • Reporting and documentation requirements
  • Coding and documentation requirements for Medicare or Medicaid payment
  • Prior authorization procedures
  • Policies and requirements for rural providers, clinicians and beneficiaries
  • Policies and requirements for dually enrolled (specifically, Medicare and Medicaid) beneficiaries
  • Beneficiary enrollment and eligibility determination
  • CMS processes for issuing regulations and policies

“Our continued goal is to eliminate overly burdensome and unnecessary regulations and sub-regulatory guidance in order to allow clinicians and providers to spend less time on paperwork and more time on their primary mission—improving their patients’ health,” states the RFI. “We are also modernizing or eliminating outdated regulations to remove barriers to innovation. By reducing unnecessary paperwork, we are unleashing the most powerful force in our healthcare system for improving health outcomes—the clinician-patient relationship.”

Public comments in response to the RFI must be submitted by August 12.

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