- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a new initiative to reduce administrative burden on physicians and free them to spend more time taking care of their patients.
- As part of this effort, CMS will review regulations and policies to minimize administrative tasks as physicians transition to value-based care models and reforms under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.
- CMS will also launch an 18-month pilot program to reduce medical review for doctors practicing within specified Advanced Alternative Payment Models.
CMS Deputy Administrator Shantanu Agrawal will lead the regulatory review. Over the next six months, CMS’ 10 regional offices will meet with local physicians to get their input on administrative burdens. The meetings will result in a report with recommendations to the CMS administrator sometime next year.
The move couldn't come at a better time. One recent study has shown physicians suffer from too many administrative duties as a result of using EHRs. Such burden can relate to burnout and moving away from what physicians seek to do everyday: Care for patients.
The 18-month pilot program will be available to physicians in Next Generation ACOs, Medicare Shared Savings Program Track 2 and 3, Pioneer ACOs and Oncology Care Model 2-sided Track payment models.
During Phase 1 – running from Jan. 1, 2017 until June 1, 2018 – providers will be considered as low-priority for post-payment medical record review claims. Phase 2, running from April 1, 2017 until June 1, 2018, will expand the program to prepayment reviews.
As providers prepare to comply with Meaningful Use Stage 3, they face more advanced requirements for patient engagement. Ensuring that clinicians are highly engaged allows hospitals and medical practices to more effectively target quality issues and inefficiencies and reduce complications, readmissions and length of stay.
“As we implement the Quality Payment Program under MACRA, we cannot do it without making a sustained, long-term commitment to take a holistic view on the demands on the physician and clinician workforce,” Andy Slavitt, CMS acting administrator, said in a release.