- CMS is calling on the public to submit ideas on how to eliminate administrative burdens and excessive red tape in America's healthcare system. Comments are due Aug. 12.
- The request for information is seeking input on how to "shift more of clinicians' time and our healthcare system's resources from needless paperwork to high-quality care that improves patient health," CMS said in a statement Thursday.
- The agency is especially interested in ideas that include targeting reporting and documentation requirements, prior authorization and enrollment and eligibility determination.
Doctors and other providers have longed complained excessive paperwork requirements distracts them from the work of medical care and spurs burnout. A recent report found it also leads to diminished productivity at a significant cost to the industry.
CMS launched its initiative to reduce administrative burden in 2017 and claims it can expect to save the system 40 million hours and $5.7 billion through both final and proposed rules. In this latest RFI, CMS said it's looking for feedback from patients and their families to clinicians on what mandates could be eliminated.
"In removing what doesn't add value, we're making room for what does. Our goal is to ensure that doctors are spending more time with their patients and less time in administrative tasks," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.
So far, the agency has addressed 83% of the "actionable items" addressed in the 2017 RFI, which generated feedback from more than 2,000 stakeholders in 23 states, CMS said.
One example includes eliminating 79 "overly burdensome, redundant, or low-value measures" on quality reporting.
Another has resulted in changes to the home health recertification, which "eliminated the need for a physician to include a separate statement about how much longer home health services are needed. These common-sense measures add up to save time and cut down on paperwork throughout a clinician's day."
Some health systems have attempted to address the burnout issue by hiring chief wellness officers.