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DHHS RFI on Reducing Regulatory Burdens

on Wednesday, 3 July 2019 in Health Law Alert: Erin E. Busch, Editor

A new DHHS Request for Information on Reducing Administrative Burden to Put Patients Over Paperwork was published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2019. (84 FR 27070) The comment period is open for 60 days from the publishing date. As described in the notice, “[t]his RFI solicits additional public comment on ideas for regulatory, subregulatory, policy, practice, and procedural changes that reduce unnecessary administrative burdens for clinicians, providers, patients and their families.” The goal is to “increase the quality of care, lower costs, improve program integrity and make the health care system more effective, simple, and accessible.”

A previous RFI drew over 3,000 responses which were reviewed with executive agency leadership and which were followed by listening sessions and onsite engagements. As of February 8, 2019, 80% of the actionable topics have either been resolved or are actively being addressed. An appendix accompanying the notice set out examples of specific actions that had been taken in several categories.

All ideas are welcome but the RFI specifically requested comments and ideas in the following areas:

  • Modification or streamlining of reporting requirements, documentation requirements, or processes to monitor compliance to CMS rules and regulations;
  • Aligning of Medicare, Medicaid, and other payer coding, payment and documentation requirements, and processes;
  • Enabling of operational flexibility, feedback mechanisms, and data sharing that would enhance patient care, support the clinician-patient relationship, and facilitate individual’s preferences; and
  • New recommendations regarding when and how CMS issues regulations and policies and how CMS can simplify rules and policies for beneficiaries, clinicians and providers.

In addition, the following areas were noted as being of special interest to CMS:

  • How to improve the accessibility and presentation of CMS requirements for quality reporting, coverage, documentation, or prior authorization;
  • How to address specific policies or requirements that are overly burdensome, not achievable, or cause unintended consequences in a rural setting;
  • How to clarify or simplify regulations or operations that pose challenges for beneficiaries dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid and those who care for such beneficiaries;
  • How to simply beneficiary enrollment and eligibility determinations across programs.

Comments may be made electronically, by regular mail or by express or overnight mail. Details are included in the notice.

Julie A. Knutson

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