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W&M Applauds CMS’ Efforts to Reduce Regulatory Burdens, Improve Patient Care

April 25, 2018

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a list of proposed policies to break down burdensome regulatory barriers in the Medicare program that get in the way of patient care.

Upon the announcement of these policy changes, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement:

As the size of the Medicare program continues to grow and documentation becomes unmanageable, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the human person in all of this. We must maintain our focus on the patient and look to empower Medicare beneficiaries to take control of their healthcare. That means eliminating the growing red tape that drives up costs and hinders care. I applaud these changes and look forward to continuing our work under the Red Tape Initiative as we partner with the Administration to continue to improve patient care.”

Subcommittee on Health Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) added:

“These are big steps estimated to save millions of hours now spent on administrative tasks. That is time going back to patient care rather than filling out paperwork. This is long overdue, but we still have more work to do. We intend to continue our efforts under the Red Tape Initiative to ensure that regulatory burden does not get in the way of high-quality care.”

Background: As part of their efforts to cut red tape in the Medicare program, informally known as the “Red Tape Initiative,” the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health recently convened a roundtable with hospital leaders from all over the country. They discussed opportunities to improve patient care and reduce health care costs by eliminating regulations that distract providers from patient care, drive up costs, and get in the way of coordinated care.

Yesterday, the Administration, under the leadership of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, took major steps to address a number of regulatory burdens. The Administration’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule addresses a number of administrative burdens on which the Committee has focused. That includes the need to streamline hospital quality reporting to empower providers to focus more time and resources on patient care, while improving the flow of information between providers and patients to ensure that the Medicare program is empowering patients to take control of their health and be better healthcare consumers. For instance, the proposal to improve quality reporting amounts to an estimated $75 million in savings to hospitals and a reduction of 2 million hours of administrative burden for hospitals. The Committee looks forward to partnering with HHS and CMS to continue this work to cut red tape and reduce burdens that drive up costs and get in the way of high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.