CMS Hears Outcry, Vows to Revisit Regulatory Burden

CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced on Monday an initiative to reduce the quality reporting burden on healthcare providers. Noting that across the CMS hospital quality reporting programs, inpatient hospitals report up to 61 quality measures, Verma said the new CMS program – Meaningful Measures – “will involve only assessing those core issues that are the most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.”

“We’re revising current quality measures across all programs to ensure that measure sets are streamlined, outcomes-based, and meaningful to doctors and patients,” Verma continued. “This includes a review of the Hospital Star Rating program.”  Hospital groups, including MHA and AHA, along with 225 members of the U.S. House and 60 Senators, all have urged CMS to ditch the star rating system until the methodology can be improved.

Citing an October AHA report that found non-clinical regulatory requirements cost providers nearly $39 billion a year and divert clinicians from patient care, Verma said, "That's a lot of provider time, money and resources focused on paperwork instead of patients."