Accreditation

The future of healthcare regulation under the new administration

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, February 14, 2017

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Last year, the American Hospital Association (AHA) sent two letters to President Trump asking him to reform CMS regulatory requirements. In the letters, AHA CEO and president Rick Pollack wrote that the balance between flexibility in patient care and regulatory burden was at a tipping point. He also wrote that reducing administrative complexity would save billions annually and allow providers to spend more time on patients, not paperwork.

 “[CMS] and other agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released 43 hospital-related proposed and final rules in the first 10 months of the year [2016] alone, comprising almost 21,000 pages of text,” he wrote. “In addition to the sheer volume, the scope of changes required by the new regulations is beginning to outstrip the field’s ability to absorb them. Moreover, this does not include the increasing use of sub-regulatory guidance (FAQs, blogs, etc.) to implement new administrative policies.”
The letter includes a list of 33 changes the AHA wants to be made, including

•    Suspend hospital quality star ratings
•    Suspend electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) reporting requirements
•    Delete faulty hospital quality measures
•    Have readmission measures reflect socio-economic factors
•    Cancel stage 3 of “meaningful use” program.
•    Stop federal agencies (HHS, CMS) from forcing private sector accreditors (Joint Commission, DNV, HFAP) to conform with government accreditation standards
•    Refocus the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) on certifying electronic health records

Changing the healthcare industry was a major topic during the past election cycle, and there are many questions on what will change under the new administration.

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