Health regulations should be pared back, CMS administrator says

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Verma spoke at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's annual meeting on Friday.
Verma spoke at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's annual meeting on Friday.

Deregulation in the healthcare industry will help providers focus more on care outcomes, the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Friday.

CMS wants to reduce provider burden while bringing the agency into the 21st Century, Administrator Seema Verma said during the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's annual meeting, Bloomberg BNA reported.

Many health regulations were created before electronic health records took off, she noted, leaving them outdated and in need of overhaul.

Verma also spoke of the agency's plans for boosting interoperability and telehealth, making patients' records more accessible and introducing state-level improvements to Medicare.

Providers will need to connect with what Verma called “digital seniors,” or those over age 65 who are more comfortable with receiving communications from CMS via email and other electronic outlets.

Verma's message is in line with CMS' recently introduced “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative, as well as a scaled-back list of possible quality measures that was released last week.