CMS is reversing an Obama administration policy and will now allow providers to verify medical students’ notes in a patient’s medical record.
Starting March 5, physicians won’t have to create their own notes in addition to notes created by students during patient examinations.
The Obama administration created the policy because of issues concerning students not providing enough information from examinations, but the policy reportedly caused problems with students not participating in the medical record process.
The change will help providers who say they are overburdened with paperwork and is the latest by the Trump administration to trim regulations. HHS released a report in January that said 70 healthcare regulatory actions were withdrawn in 2017 and more than $3 billion was recovered through cutting waste, fraud and abuse.
Though physicians will only need to verify information in the record, CMS said, “The teaching physician must personally perform (or re-perform) the physical exam and medical decision making activities of the E/M service being billed, but may verify any student documentation of them in the medical record, rather than re-documenting this work.”
Repealing the medical record policy will likely help reduce a physician’s workload, remove administrative burden and potentially help with physician burnout. A recent Medscape survey of 15,000 practicing physicians found that 56% of physicians feeling burnout said documentation is the top reason.
Of the physicians surveyed, 27% said decreased government regulations would reduce their burnout.