AHA report analyzes the impact of regulatory burdens for hospitals

November 8, 2017
Medicare Web

As federal agencies release new and complex regulations for acute and postacute care facilities, providers are faced with the daunting task of unraveling and complying with the latest changes while ensuring patients receive quality care. The American Hospital Association (AHA) and Manatt Health set out to determine the extent of the regulatory burden placed on providers by analyzing requirements from CMS, OIG, OCR, and ONC.

The report found that providers spend approximately $39 million annually to comply with 629 requirements across the following nine domains:

  1. Postacute care
  2. Quality reporting
  3. Value-based payment models
  4. Meaningful use of EHRs
  5. Conditions of Participation (CoP)
  6. Program integrity
  7. Fraud and abuse
  8. Privacy and security
  9. Billing and coverage verification requirements 

Annually, a 161-bed hospital spends an estimated $7.6 million on administrative activities related to compliance with reviewed federal regulations, stated the AHA. That equates to $1,200 in regulatory burdens per patient hospital admittance.

The report also examined the administrative aspects of quality reporting. In total, $709,000 is reportedly spent annually by the average-sized community hospital. Meanwhile, $760,000 is spent annually by the average-sized hospital to meet meaningful use administrative requirements. The quantity of regulatory burden has grown over the years to an unsustainable amount, stated the AHA in a letter.

When it comes to resources, 59 full time employees are dedicated to regulatory compliance issues in the average sized community hospital. This can be a challenge as it takes physicians and nurses away from their responsibilities to care for their patients, states the report.

See the report for specific recommendations to address these regulatory burdens.