Hospitals

Industry Voices—3 ways healthcare providers can take advantage of CMS’ reduced burdens

by Larry Lacombe | Feb 4, 2019

It goes without saying that both regulation and accreditation are crucial to ensuring that healthcare providers and facilities uphold nationwide standards in patient care. While both hold healthcare providers accountable to their patients and community, strengthen patient safety and measure quality and safety of care, federal regulations require a great deal of physicians’ time—not to mention the looming penalties they could face if they fall short.

In fact, 81% of U.S. physicians in four common specialties reported that they spend more time and effort dealing with quality measures than three years ago, according to a recent report from Health Affairs. Only 27% of those surveyed said current measures represent the quality of care they provide.

Ensuring that healing environments are meeting and exceeding standards of patient care should not be a burden. CMS recently launched its “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative to identify what stakeholders consider burdensome in the healthcare environment. They found “3,040 mentions of burden,” which CMS then categorized as relating to “1,146 different issues.”

That’s why CMS proposed a rule to remove “unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare facilities.” As the titular initiative states, it’s time to put our patients over paperwork.

Here are three ways to take advantage of CMS’ reduced burdens.

1. Make ambulatory care strategy a priority.

Hospitals must reconcile their focus on hospital-centered care to ambulatory-centered care as healthcare strategies move further into the acute-care space. CMS claims their new provisions will also “streamline hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical center requirements for conducting comprehensive medical histories and physical assessments.”

A healing environment that can provide all the services a patient needs in one (both physical or technological) space—from general specialists and physicians to telehealth advising and efficient follow-up care—will not only retain current clients but may also engage future patients via its ambulatory system.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust.

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