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Neurosurgery Participates in HHS Cut the Red Tape Summit

On Monday, Oct. 2, AANS/CNS Washington Committee chair, Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS, and AANS/CNS Washington Office director, Katie O. Orrico, Esq., attended a “Cut the Red Tape Summit” event. This meeting was a continuation of previous regulatory relief meetings convened by the leaders of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including acting HHS Secretary, Don Wright, MD; CMS administrator, Seema Verma; and the FDA’s deputy commissioner, Anna Abram. These individuals reiterated the department’s commitment to reducing unnecessary regulations that do not add value and impede patient care. Each agency within HHS has developed a plan for reducing regulatory burden, and the Regulatory Relief Task Force meets weekly to ensure forward progress. Several issues, in particular were highlighted:

  • Reducing burdensome quality reporting requirements;
  • Concerns about EHRs getting between physicians and patients; and
  • Apprehension that regulations are leading to the consolidation of the health care market, whereby small physician practices and those in rural areas are unable to keep pace with regulatory burdens, leading to practice consolidation and hospital employment.

Dr. Stroink stressed neurosurgery’s concerns about Medicare’s future regulations requiring all ordering physicians to consult with appropriate use criteria before ordering advanced imaging. Additionally, she raised concerns about prior authorization.