MGMA Report on Regulatory Burdens

By October 22, 2019 Commentary

The Medical Group Management Association is a large and long-standing group representing provider group practices.  It produces a variety of regular reports, one of which assesses provider perception of regulatory and other administrative burdens.  The results of its annual survey on regulatory burden have just been released.   (MGMA Report)   Respondents included over 400 group practices, 66% with less than 20 doctors and 14% with over 100.  86% say the overall regulatory burden on their practices has increased in the last 12 months.  96% say reducing the regulatory burden would allow them to spend more time with patients and 80% say reducing the burden would allow more investment in technology resources.  Although not strictly a regulatory issue except when public programs like Medicare and Medicaid use it, the report also addresses prior authorization.  83% of practices said it was very to extremely burdensome, with most saying they have had to add staff specifically to comply with prior authorization processes.  The new Medicare Merit-based Incentive Payment System also takes some lumps.  81% of respondents participate in the program.  84% said the program has increased the regulatory burden, with 77% saying it is very or extremely burdensome, while doing nothing for patient care quality.  87% said the bonuses paid under the program do not even cover the time and resources needed to collect and report data under the program.  In general, government quality and cost improvement programs are viewed very negatively.  77% of respondents said that the feedback they get on the MIPS cost measures doesn’t help them reduce costs and 58% say they are dissatisfied with the measures themselves.  76% say feedback on MIPS quality measures is not actionable in improving quality and 50% say they are dissatisfied with the MIPS quality measures.  In ranking the level of burden from various government programs, not one receives under 50% on being moderately, very or extremely burdensome.  The least burdensome is actually the fraud and abuse program, followed by HIPAA.  So by all means, lets go to Medicare for All and really ramp up the regulatory burden.

Kevin Roche

Author Kevin Roche

The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry through Roche Consulting, LLC. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements and may be reached at khroche@healthy-skeptic.com.

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