AMA Shares Physician Complaints About Burdensome CMS Regulations

The American Medical Association has sent a letter to CMS outlining the federal regulations physicians find most burdensome.

On Jan. 18, President Obama issued an executive order calling on all government agencies to complete an analysis of rules that may be ineffective, insufficient or excessively burdensome. The AMA's list of these burdensome regulations, along with recommendations to improve them, was obtained through an AMA survey of physicians with more than 2,000 responses.

In the letter to CMS, Michael Maves, MD, executive vice president and CEO of AMA, said three out of five physicians reported that mandates aimed at fighting fraud or promoting social justice were at the top of their list of regulatory grievances. These include translators for Medicare or Medicaid patients with hearing impairments or limited English proficiency, drug plan authorizations, EMTALA and mandated documentation and certifications.

Dr. Maves outlined a second concern, shared by nearly half of surveyed physicians, regarding Medicare's prohibition of consultation codes, which forces physicians to bill for services at lower-valued visit codes. This limitation puts Medicare at odds with most private payors and a provision under HIPAA that calls for a standard set of codes based on the AMA's Current Procedural Terminology, he said.

Other major concerns shared by physicians include inconsistent incentive programs and their competing priorities, inconsistent audit policies, administrative simplification, the Medicare enrollment process, PDRQ feedback reports and proper physician education and outreach.

Read the AMA news release about Dr. Michael Maves' letter to CMS about burdensome regulations.

Read other coverage about the AMA:

- Payor Denials Overturned in 39-59% of Appeals, GAO Finds

- Specialists Losing to Generalists on Relative Value Pay Panel

Temper AMA Panel's Power Over Physician Fees, Healthcare Economist Proposes

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