HHS unveils strategy recommendations to reduce health IT regulatory, administrative burden

CMS and ONC on Feb. 21 released a report with strategic plan recommendations to combat regulatory and administrative burden associated with the use of health IT, including EHRs.

The Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs report reflects public comment and addresses tech burdens that HHS can alleviate through the rulemaking process.

The report provides recommendations for four main areas: clinical documentation, health IT usability, federal EHR and health IT reporting requirements and public health reporting.

Here are four of the strategy recommendations the report provides based on the four main areas:

1. Clinical documentation. Reduce regulatory burden around documentation requirements for patient visits.

2. Health IT usability. Better align EHRs with clinical workflow to improve usability, decision making and documentation.  

3. EHR and health IT reporting requirements. Simplify the scoring model for CMS' promoting interoperability performance category and Medicare promoting interoperability program.

4. Public health reporting. Federal agencies and states should adopt common industry standards consistent with ONC and CMS policies and HIPAA rules to improve interoperability between health IT and prescription drug monitoring programs.

Decreasing unnecessary regulatory burden will free up clinicians' time spent on administrative tasks. During listening sessions with clinicians, ONC and CMS said clinicians "told us these requirements result in 'pajama time,' where physicians spend hours after clinic sessions and on weekends entering data to satisfy billing and quality reporting requirements," according to a Feb. 21 ONC blog post.

The agencies said they will continue to engage with clinicians and key stakeholders as they transition the report into an action plan.

Click here to access the full report.

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