Click here or on the image above to download photos from yesterday’s roundtable discussion.
Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee held a roundtable discussion with 10 healthcare provider groups to discuss Medicare red tape relief. This was a unique chance for Members to hear from industry professionals about how Congress can improve Medicare so that it works more effectively for both patients and medical providers. Committee Republicans were able to have an open and frank discussion with industry experts on ways current Medicare regulations are harming them, their patients, and the healthcare industry.
Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) opened up the meeting by asking:
“What is it, within the physician practice area, that are regulatory burdens that just don’t make any sense anymore? Let’s engage them.”
In response, participating doctors and healthcare experts shared their stories with Committee Members about the struggles they face due to the regulatory burdens placed on them by Washington.
Although each provider shared unique insights into the issues they face as they attempt to comply with Medicare regulations, a few recommendations were mentioned nearly across the board:
- Standardizing documentation guidelines;
- Eliminating unnecessary and duplicative paperwork and reporting burdens in all settings;
- Modernizing laws such as Stark laws that are slowing down providers’ ability to fully work together to create efficiencies and lower costs for the patients and taxpayers; and
- Expanding the use of innovations in healthcare, particularly telehealth.
In support of these recommendations, providers shared real-world stories of how unnecessary regulation negatively affected their patients’ care.
For example, an emergency doctor noted how his staff is required to get patients’ permission multiple times before being able to view their substance abuse record. An issue like this, he pointed out, in an emergency setting can be life or death for patients due to time constraints.
Improving patient healthcare starts by untying the hands of healthcare providers. This roundtable was an important opportunity for Ways and Means Republican members to hear firsthand from providers about how outdated and overblown regulatory practices are preventing them from delivering the best care possible to patients.
Chairman Roskam closed the roundtable by acknowledging the importance of these types of discussions – where both members and stakeholders can dive into the core issues at play in our Medicare regulatory system – and expressed the desire to continue the conversation with further meetings like this. He told participants:
“I think this can be the beginning of a dialogue that is ongoing. You’ve come with serious proposals, you’ve come with vetted thoughts, and you know what you are talking about. This committee is really interested in trying to absorb that.”
CLICK HERE to download photos from yesterday’s roundtable discussion.