AHA Sends Second Appeal to Trump

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John Commins, December 5, 2016

Pleading that the nation’s hospitals face a “substantial and unsustainable” regulatory burden, the American Hospital Association presented an eight-page list of remedies to the president-elect.

For the second time in three days, on Friday the American Hospital Association has provided President-elect Donald Trump with a lengthy list of requests for regulatory reforms to scale back bureaucratic red tape.

“Reducing administrative complexity in healthcare would save billions of dollars annually and allow providers to spend more time on patients, not paperwork,” AHA CEO and President Rick Pollack said in letter dated December 2nd.

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services released 43 proposed and final rules affecting hospitals and health systems in the first 10 months of this year alone, comprising almost 21,000 pages of text,” Pollack wrote. “In addition to the sheer volume, the scope of changes required by the new regulations is beginning to outstrip the field’s ability to absorb them.”

Because the rules are promulgated by CMS and other agencies within HHS, Pollack said the president-elect could take immediate action administratively.

Among the 33 reform actions listed in the letter, the AHA wants the Trump administration to:

Suspend hospital star ratings: Despite objections from a majority of the Congress, CMS published a set of deeply flawed hospital star ratings on its website this fall. The ratings were broadly criticized by quality experts and Congress as being inaccurate and misleading to consumers seeking to know which hospitals were more likely to provide safer, higher quality care.

Cancel Stage 3 of “meaningful use” program: Hospitals face extensive, burdensome and unnecessary “meaningful use” regulations from CMS that require significant reporting on the use of electronic health records (EHRs) with no clear benefit to patient care.

These excessive requirements are set to become even more onerous when Stage 3 begins in 2018. They also will raise costs by forcing hospitals to spend large sums upgrading their EHRs solely for the purpose of meeting regulatory requirements.

Suspend electronic clinical quality measure reporting requirements: Hospitals have spent significant time and resources to revise certified EHRs to meet CMS electronic clinical quality measure requirements for 2016, with no benefit for patient care. Moreover, CMS acknowledges that the electronic test submissions by hospitals and physicians do not accurately measure the quality of care provided.

Despite these facts, CMS regulations double the electronic clinical quality measure reporting requirements for hospitals for 2017, creating additional burden without an expectation that the data generated by EHRs will be accurate.

See the rest of these requests in the original article:

via AHA Sends Second Appeal to Trump

 

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