CMS creates office to reduce administrative burden

June 25, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created the Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics, with a goal of unifying the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory and administrative burden on healthcare providers, the agency announced in a news release.

CMS said the new office is an outgrowth of its Patients over Paperwork (PoP) initiative, which is designed to “eliminate duplicative, unnecessary, and excessively costly requirements and regulations,” the agency said.

In addition to reducing administrative burden, the new office also will focus on health informatics. Specifically, it will focus on interoperability and leveraging “technology and automation to create new tools that allow patients to own and carry their personal health data with them seamlessly, privately, and securely throughout the healthcare system,” CMS said in the news release.

CMS said it expects providers to save $6.6 billion and 42 million hours of work through 2021 from the actions the agency has taken over the last three years to reduce healthcare providers’ administrative burden. The agency said those initiatives include the following:

·        Removed 235 data elements from 33 items on the Outcomes and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) assessment instrument for home health.

·        Established within the Quality Payment Program (QPP), a consolidated data submission experience for the different performance categories of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) so that clinicians no longer need to submit data in multiple systems.

·        Eliminated 79 measures from the Meaningful Measures Initiative, resulting in projected savings of $128 million and an anticipated reduction of 3.3 million burden hours through 2020.

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