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Patients Before Paperwork

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted additional FAQs for the Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule. ACP was supportive of these efforts, as the FAQs are based on stakeholder feedback and provide current information about the policies included in the final rule. In 2019, the College submitted comments on the proposed rule, which commended CMS for reducing existing burden on clinicians and the positive impact on care quality but cautioned against proposals that may increase administrative burden, thereby interfering with the patient—clinician relationship. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ACP additionally joined a number of the nation's leading subspecialty societies to write a letter to CMS urging the agency to provide additional regulatory relief to clinicians. This effort was in response to the implementation and compliance timelines included in the Patient Access final rule, which raised significant concern as overburdened clinicians continued to lack the requisite resources and time to comply. The FAQs can be found on the Health Informatics and Interoperability webpage. Additional information about the Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule is available here.

On April 27, 2021, the CMS issued the proposed rule for fiscal year 2022 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System and Long Term Care Hospital. The proposed rule would update Medicare payment policies and rates for operating, as well as build on key priorities to close health care equity gaps and support greater access to life-saving care during the public health emergency and beyond. Although the proposed rule does not mean CMS will also ease up on some of its other mandates, it does suggest that the agency recognizes the administrative burden of such requirements, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. ACP continues to voice its support for these efforts as we approach the anticipated release date of CMS’ Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

If you would like to work with your chapter to advocate for regulatory relief, please visit ACP's Chapter Advocacy Toolkit for more resources and calls to action.

ACP Patients Before Paperwork Initiative

Patients Before Paperwork is an ACP initiative designed to reinvigorate the patient–physician relationship by challenging unnecessary practice burdens. To help the Patients Before Paperwork Initiative, provide your feedback with our online data collection tool and contact the Patients Before Paperwork team directly at policy-regs@acponline.org.

Back to the July 16, 2021 issue of ACP IM Thriving