The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on June 23
the creation of a new Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics, with a stated goal to “permanently embed a culture of burden reduction across all platforms of CMS agency operations.”
“The Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics will ensure the agency’s commitment to reduce administrative costs and enact meaningful and lasting change in our nation’s health care system,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Specifically, the work of this new office will be targeted to help reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, continue administrative simplification, increase the use of health informatics, and improve the beneficiary experience.”
Last year, WHA recommended several reforms
to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to reduce electronic health record (EHR) documentation burdens as HHS developed a strategic plan to reduce regulatory and administrative burden relating to the use of health IT and EHRs. In February, HHS released the final version of its Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs
. CMS’ June 23 announcement builds upon some of the recommendations in its February strategic plan.
According to CMS’ press release, following the 2017 launch of its Patients over Paperwork Initiative focused on reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on health care providers, CMS’ burden reduction efforts are expected to save providers and clinicians $6.6 billion and 42 million unnecessary burden hours through 2021.
CMS states the new Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics will “take a proactive approach to reducing burden, carefully considering the impact of new regulations on health care system operations,” and will “work with the broader health care community to continue to make key administrative processes increasingly more efficient.”