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HHS Issues Draft Strategy to Reduce Health IT Burden on Physicians

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a draft strategy, Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs, that is aimed at reducing administrative and regulatory burden on physicians caused by the use of health information technology (health IT) such as electronic health records (EHRs). This report, as required by the 21st Century Cures Act, reflects input, including ASCRS recommendations, received through several wide-reaching listening sessions, written input, and other stakeholder convenings. Based on this input, the draft strategy outlines three overarching goals designed to reduce physician burden:

  1. Reduce the effort and time required to record health information in EHRs for physicians;
  2. Reduce the effort and time required to meet regulatory reporting requirements for physicians, hospitals, and healthcare organizations; and
  3. Improve the functionality and intuitiveness (ease of use) of EHRs.

Based on these goals, the draft strategy includes several recommendations, such as streamlining and standardizing processes related to prior authorization, improving usability through better alignment of EHRs with clinical workflow, EHR standardization, and addressing MIPS reporting and participation burdens by simplifying requirements. The draft strategy highlights steps CMS has already taken to reduce burdens, such as reducing the requirements and simplifying the scoring structure for the MIPS Promoting Interoperability performance category, but states HHS will work to identify additional areas for burden reduction.

ASCRS will be submitting comments in response to the draft strategy and will provide further recommendations for reducing regulatory relief. We will keep you updated.