Patients Before Paperwork

Patients Before Paperwork Update:

  • On August 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its annual Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program proposed rule. Many of the proposals are aimed at reducing administrative burden and clinical burden. The College has submitted its proposed rule comments, which support CMS's proposals to address the many barriers to patient access and physician adoption and use of telehealth services. A summary of ACP's top priority recommendations and further details on our positions can be found here.
  • In anticipation of the November 2 deadline set by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the “Information Blocking” final rules, ACP joined a coalition letter that urges ONC to allow health care providers at least one year of extended enforcement discretion to help ensure they have adequate time to prepare with the compliance deadlines associated with information blocking and certification provisions. On October 29, 2020, ONC released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) that extends the compliance dates and timeframes necessary to meet certain requirements related to information blocking and Conditions and Maintenance of Certification (CoC/MoC) to allow additional flexibility and time for the health care ecosystem to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information-blocking provisions and requirements compliance date is now April 5, 2021, while the health IT certification criteria updates and functionality dates are now required by December 31, 2022. More information can be found in the press release here.
  • On October 27, 2020, ACP, joined by a number of the nation's leading Subspecialty Societies, wrote a letter to CMS urging the agency to provide additional regulatory relief to physicians during the national threat of COVID-19. This effort was in response to the implementation and compliance timelines included in CMS's “Patient Access” final rule, which have raised concerns as our nation continues to battle COVID-19 and physicians do not have the resources to comply with timelines nor the time to make the requisite “cultural changes” that will necessitate a transition into the patient access world. While ACP remains supportive of CMS's efforts to empower patients to take control of and access their personal health information in a manner that better facilitates the coordination of care, we have strongly urged CMS to delay compliance with implementation timelines and simultaneously offer hardship exceptions for the upcoming regulatory deadlines included in the “Patient Access” final regulations.

If you'd like to work with your chapter to advocate for regulatory relief during the COVID-19 crisis, 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

Back to the November 20, 2020 issue of ACP IM Thriving