CMS Administrator Announces the Creation of the Office of Burden Reduction

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On September 30, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to promote efficiency within the Medicare and Medicaid programs. A significant portion of the final rule is designed to reduce or eliminate needless paperwork that often burdens health care providers. The rule is scheduled to take effect 60 days after it was issued and is estimated to save providers $800 million and 4.4 million hours spent on paperwork each year. Following the publication of the final rule, CMS administrator Seema Verma announced the agency’s ongoing commitment to reducing paperwork for health care providers, which includes creating an Office of Burden Reduction to work on this issue. Seema Verma also announced that the agency’s burden reduction efforts will be expanded to all the agency’s programs – not just Medicare. This announcement follows the publication of a study last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which identified “administrative complexity” as one of the leading causes of wasteful spending in the U.S. health care system, totaling roughly 25 percent of all health spending.

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