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Analysis

CMS Opens Office to Cut Red Tape for Providers

By John Commins  
   June 23, 2020

Regulatory reductions are expected to save providers $6.6 billion and 42 million unnecessary burden hours through 2021.  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday announced the creation of a new office designed to cut red tape for providers.

The Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics was launched under the CMS' Patients Over Paperwork Initiative, and President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to "Cut the Red Tape,"  CMS said in a media release.

The regulatory reductions are expected to save providers $6.6 billion and 42 million unnecessary burden hours through 2021, CMS said. 

"The work of this new office will be targeted to help reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, continue administrative simplification, increase the use of health informatics, and improve the beneficiary experience," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said.

To determine where to trim red tape, CMS relied on input from 10 Requests for Information, along with listening sessions, site visits, feedback from more than 2,500 providers, clinicians, administrative staff, and beneficiaries, and 15,000 comments from various stakeholders.

So far, CMS said, the red tape reductions have:

  • Removed unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome conditions of participation for providers saving 4.4 million paperwork hours and total projected savings to providers of $800 million annually.
     
  • Removed 235 data elements from 33 items on the Outcomes and Assessment Information Set assessment instrument for home health.
     
  • Established within the Quality Payment Program consolidated data submission for the  Merit-based Incentive Payment System, removing a requirement that clinicians submit data in multiple systems. 
     
  • Eliminated 79 measures under the Meaningful Measures Initiative, resulting in projected savings of $128 million and an anticipated reduction of 3.3 million burden hours through 2020.
     
  • Accelerated processing state requests to make program or benefit changes to their Medicaid programs through the state plan amendment and section 1915 waiver.

The Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics will also focus on creating efficiencies for health informatics, particularly as it relates to interoperability and leveraging new technology and automation to create new tools that allow patients to "own" their personal health data.

“The work of this new office will be targeted to help reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, continue administrative simplification, increase the use of health informatics, and improve the beneficiary experience. ”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

To determine where to trim red tape, CMS relied on input from 10 Requests for Information, along with listening sessions, site visits, feedback from more than 2,500 stakeholders.

CMS says it has already removed unnecessary and burdensome regulations that have saved providers 4.4 million paperwork hours and $800 million.


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