A new report showed health systems spend nearly $39 billion a year on administrative activities related to regulatory compliance, according to a study released today by the AHA (American Hospital Association). The average hospital spends $7.6 million annually to comply with federal regulations, which equals to $1,200 every time a patient is admitted. CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) announced a “Meaningful Measures” initiative to reduce this burden of quality reporting. AHA has urged CMS to align quality reporting across all its programs and focus on “measures that matter,” and to suspend and explore alternative approaches to the star ratings. CMS is accepting comments on this initiative through Nov. 20 for a more flexible direction for its Innovation Center.

There is growing frustration for those providing patient care and using a system that can “force them to spend more time on paperwork than treating patients,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. He added, “Too often, these regulatory requirements seem detached from good and efficient patient care. The regulatory burden is substantial and unsustainable, and reducing the administrative complexity of health care would allow providers to spend more time on patients, not paperwork.” To access this report and further information visit www.aha.org/regrelief.

References: http://news.aha.org/article/171030-cms-announces-initiative-to-reduce-quality-reporting-burden; http://news.aha.org/article/171025-aha-study-rising-regulatory-burden-diverting-providers-from-patient-care