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Internists Lay Out Priorities for Administrative Burden Relief to House Committee on Ways and Means

American College of Physicians letter outlines multiple issues and proposed solutions

Washington, August 25, 2017—The American College of Physicians (ACP) today provided a list of priorities and proposed solutions for administrative burden relief in a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health. 

In the letter, ACP tells the Committee that its top priority is to, “Evaluate and publish the impact of government regulations and administrative tasks on the doctor-patient relationship and remove barriers that unnecessarily interfere with meaningful interaction between health care providers and their patients.”

In the summary of its first priority, ACP points out, “The growing number of administrative tasks imposed on physicians and patients adds unnecessary costs to the U.S. health care system. Excessive administrative tasks divert time and focus from more clinically important activities of physicians and their staffs, such as providing actual care to patients and improving quality, and may prevent patients from receiving timely and appropriate care or treatment.” The list of priorities and proposed solutions in the letter are:

  • Utilize the ACP’s Cohesive Framework to Evaluate and Publish the Impact of Government Regulations and Administrative Tasks on the Doctor-Patient Relationship and Remove Barriers that Unnecessarily Interfere with Meaningful Interaction between Health Care Clinicians and their Patients
  • Simplify the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Scoring System
  • Simplify the Evaluation and Management (E/M) Documentation Guidelines
  • Reduce Administrative Burden Associated with Billing Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Other Care Management Codes
  • Remove the Copayment for Chronic Care Management (CCM) Services
  • Simplify and Align the Quality Measurement System to Ease the Burden of Reporting, Enhance Patient Care, and Build a Learning Health Care System
  • Align Varying Policies, Procedures, and Contracting Arrangements in the Medicare Advantage (MA) Program with Traditional Medicare to Promote Transparency and Reduce Excessive and Burdensome Administrative Tasks
  • Promote Practical Interoperability/Specific Query Functions of Patient Information
  • Reduce the Burden of Public Health Reporting
  • Promote a National Initiative that Uses a Common Set of Data Elements to Match a Patient to his/her Individual Electronic Health Information and Study the use of a Voluntary Universal Unique Healthcare Identifier
  • Implement the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) without Imposing Undue Administrative Burden on Participating Physicians

ACP urges Congress and governing agencies to incorporate into the regulatory impact analysis a standard assessment of cost, time, and quality of care for public review and comment. In a recent position paper, “Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care,” ACP proposes a cohesive framework for analyzing administrative tasks to better understand any given task that a clinician and staff may be required to perform and then potentially be revised or removed entirely, by government and other external entities.  

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The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: Laura Baldwin 215-351-2668, lbaldwin@acponline.org