CMS proposals aim to free physicians to spend more time with patients

CMS proposed several changes with wide-ranging goals, including aiming to reduce administrative burdens on doctors to spend more time with patients, the agency announced Thursday, July 12.

“Today’s proposals deliver on the pledge to put patients over paperwork by enabling doctors to spend more time with their patients,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, said in a statement. “Physicians tell us they continue to struggle with excessive regulatory requirements and unnecessary paperwork that steal time from patient care.”

CMS estimates the proposals, if enacted today, would save individual clinicians 51 hours per year on unnecessary paperwork if 40 percent of their patients are in Medicare and collectively save 29,305 hours and approximately $2.6 million in reduced administrative costs in 2019.

The proposals would make changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program.

One such change modernizes Medicare payment policies to promote virtual care and seeks to ensure clinicians are documenting clinically meaningful information, instead of information only used for billing purposes.

CMS also proposed changing Medicare Part B to more closely match they payment amount with the actual cost of the drug, which the agency states could reduce the amount seniors would pay out of pocket.

Proposed changes to the QCP aim to reduce clinician burned and promote interoperability of EHRs.

In an effort to improve the Medicare Advantage, CMS also proposed waiving some requirements for doctors and clinicians under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in a new demonstration called the Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI).

CMS also asked for public input on price transparency between providers and suppliers and patients.

The public comment period on the proposed rules ends Sept. 10.