The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has introduced new regulations that are expected to save hospitals and other providers more than $1 billion a year, reports Kaiser Health News.
The most important of the three rules include a proposal that would ease the requirements of participation in Medicare and Medicaid for both traditional and critical access hospitals. The changes would allow a multi-hospital system to have a single governing body and allow non-physician providers to take on additional responsibility for care. Those changes are expected to save at least $900 million in the first year alone.
The two other regulations would eliminate duplicative or outdated requirements for ancillary providers such as end-stage renal facilities and durable medical equipment suppliers. There are also some revisions to the health and safety standards ambulatory surgical centers must meet in order to participate in Medicare.
Dr. Donald M. Berwick, director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the changes would save providers money and allow them to focus more on patient care and less on paperwork.