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CMS Proposes Historic Changes to Modernize Medicare and Restore the Doctor-patient Relationship

Posted on in Billing/Reimbursement, HME Government Issues, Legislation, Government and Advocacy

From the desk of Ronda Buhrmester

The pledge continues, “Patients over paperwork.” The health care industry has been hearing this motto since Seem Verma took office with CMS. The most recent article released from CMS discusses the issues faced by physicians and clinicians with stringent documentation requirements by Medicare versus proper patient care.

When you are at an appointment with your family physician, the time feels rushed because the physician has a lot of documentation to complete, not only for your medical record, but also for billing purposes before moving onto the next appointment. It seems as though they have about 15 minutes or less to spend with a patient, and during that time their attention is drawn more to documenting in the electronic health care record (EHR) rather than having the time for true patient care. Physicians have expressed their issues with CMS in regards to not being able to spend the much-needed time with their patients due to all the regulations set forth by Medicare rather than following their true passion – taking care of patients.

While changes tend to start with the physician groups and hospitals systems, the changes should filter to the DME industry. Outside of competitive bid program issues, documentation requirements are a key complaint from physicians and DMEPOS suppliers. Suppliers seem to be in a constant tug-of-war with physicians to get the correct documentation that meets the coverage criteria outlined in the medical policy. The proposal for a more modernized health care system indicates that changes are on the way, making patients over paperwork a priority.

We’ve already started to see the DME MACs, under CMS direction, collaborating with Part A and Part B Medicare contractors offering a variety of education to providers and suppliers such as webinars, documentation tools, and on-demand videos.

Medicare is simplifying documentation requirements so that providers and suppliers spend less time on paperwork, allowing time to focus more on patients and less on confusing and time-consuming claims documentation.

They are in need of your suggestions on where to focus next. Please send your feedback and suggestions to [email protected].

As reported on CMS.gov July 12:

CMS Proposes Historic Changes to Modernize Medicare and Restore the Doctor-patient Relationship

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed historic changes that would increase the amount of time that doctors and other clinicians can spend with their patients by reducing the burden of paperwork that clinicians face when billing Medicare. The proposed rules would fundamentally improve the nation’s health care system and help restore the doctor-patient relationship by empowering clinicians to use their electronic health records (EHRs) to document clinically meaningful information instead of information that is only for billing purposes.

Click here to continue reading the CMS announcement.