Washington, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), released a report discussing how lawmakers and the Administration can cut excessive red tape and regulatory burdens in the Medicare program.
This report is the result of the Committee’s “Medicare Red Tape Relief Project.” This initiative, as part of the Committee’s ongoing efforts to modernize and improve the Medicare program, identified opportunities to reduce legislative and regulatory burdens on Medicare providers while improving the efficiency and quality of the Medicare program for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Upon releasing this report, Chairman Brady said:
“We know that Washington has wedged itself too deep into the doctor-patient relationship, hampering innovation, driving up costs, and taking time away from patient care. This report lays the groundwork for steps Congress and the Administration can take to cut red tape to ensure patients’ needs, not Washington’s unnecessary regulations and mandates, come first. Chairman Roskam has been a strong leader in this effort, and I look forward to taking additional action to reduce excessive administrative and regulatory burdens in the Medicare program.”
Chairman Roskam added:
“The Medicare program has reached the threshold where the regulatory burdens placed on health care providers are now coming at the expense of patient care – we cannot allow this to continue. That is why we launched the Medicare Red Tape Relief Project, and this report is another step of this ongoing work. This report lays out ways we can minimize egregious regulatory strain in the Medicare program in order to improve the quality of health care for patients.”
CLICK HERE to read the full report.
The Medicare Red Tape Relief Project has three stages:
1. Stage One: Request feedback from stakeholders to learn more about the policies that improve health care – and the policies that stand in the way;
2. Stage Two: Host roundtables with stakeholders to continue the conversations and identify solutions; and
3. Stage Three: Take Congressional action based on feedback from stakeholders and dialogue with the Administration.
Recently a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that physicians spend nearly two additional hours of paperwork for every hour they were seeing patients. According to another report, administrative costs, including those associated with adopting and complying with health care regulations, account for 25 percent of annual hospital spending in the United States, which amounts to more than $200 billion. In fact, the United States had the highest hospital administrative costs when compared to seven other major Western countries.
The Ways and Means Committee has invited a two-way discussion with doctors, hospitals, post-acute care providers, and other health care professionals about how we can accomplish the shared goal of empowering providers to deliver the best quality care to their patients.
Broadly, in the Committee’s meetings, roundtable discussions, and Request for Information (RFI) comments health care providers coalesced around the following major issues and themes:
• Remove red tape that distracts providers from patient care;
• Remove red tape that increases the costs of health care;
• Remove red tape to improve access to care;
• Remove red tape that stands in the way of modernizing the Medicare program;
• Remove red tape that stands in the way of streamlining and coordinating care;
• Remove red tape that stands in the way of transparency for providers and beneficiaries; and
• Remove red tape that burdens facilities with reduced staffing and exacerbates the shortage of health care workers.
While many issues are specific to certain provider types, the Committee found many overlapping themes and issues that cut across all provider groups, including:
- The need for improved flexibility to provide telehealth services;
- Challenges associated with the Stark Law; and
- Documentation and reporting burdens, among other issues.
CLICK HERE to read the full report.