News & Insights


June 10, 2019

Health Headlines – June 10, 2019

CMS Issues Request for Information on Reducing ‘Unnecessary Paperwork’ for Providers – On June 6, 2019, CMS issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to decrease the administrative burden for healthcare providers, specifically the burden of “unnecessary paperwork.” The RFI invites healthcare providers, patients, and the broader medical community to recommend changes to the rules, policies, and procedures that would shift time and resources away from needless paperwork and toward more patient care. The RFI is expected to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, June 11, 2019. The deadline to submit comments to the RFI is Monday, August 12, 2019.

This RFI is part of CMS’s Patients over Paperwork initiative, which launched in fall 2017. The goal of the initiative is to streamline regulations and reduce unnecessary burdens on healthcare providers to increase resources spent on patient care. “Patients over Paperwork has made great inroads in clearing away needlessly complex, outdated, or duplicative requirements that drain clinicians’ time but contribute little to quality of care or patient health,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. She continued, “[s]ince launching Patients over Paperwork in late 2017, CMS has worked closely with the healthcare community to relieve regulatory burdens and maintain flexibility and efficiency in Medicare and Medicaid, and we’re excited about the innovative ideas that today’s RFI will bring as we build on our progress and continue to achieve cost and time savings.” 

CMS is specifically seeking comments on ways to streamline and improve:

  • Reporting and documentation requirements;
  • Coding and documentation requirements for Medicare or Medicaid payment;
  • Prior authorization procedures;
  • Policies and requirements for rural providers, clinicians, and beneficiaries;
  • Policies and requirements for dually enrolled (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid) beneficiaries;
  • Beneficiary enrollment and eligibility determination; and
  • CMS processes for issuing regulations and policies.

The RFI can be found here. CMS’s press release regarding the RFI can be found here.

Reporter, Ariana Fuller, Los Angeles, +1 213 443 4342,

CMS Extends Timeline to Finalize Updated Medicare Rules for Hospitals to June 2020 – In 2016, CMS issued a proposed rule to update the requirements that hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. The proposals are intended to conform the requirements to current standards of practice and support improvements in quality of care, reduce barriers to care, and reduce some issues that may exacerbate workforce shortage concerns. The proposed rule was scheduled to be finalized this month, but on June 6, 2019, CMS announced that it would extend the timeline for publication of the final rule for another year, to June 16, 2020. According to CMS, exceptional circumstances exist to justify publishing a final rule more than 3 years after the publication date of the proposed rule, namely “the complexity of the rule, it’s substantive nature, and the scope of comments received.”  The proposed rule can be found here. CMS’s announcement to extend the rule another year can be found here.

King & Spalding Roundtable:  Going Global:  The Internationalization of the Healthcare Industry – King & Spalding will host a webinar on Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET discussing how U.S.-based health systems are increasingly exploring international operations and foreign investors are making strategic investments in U.S. healthcare and the opportunities and pitfalls these developments create. The webinar will include discussion of:

  • The State of the Market – Explaining the current state of the healthcare industry from U.S. and international perspectives: What factors attract U.S.-based health systems to invest in foreign activities, which areas of the U.S. healthcare industry currently attract international investment, and which segments international investors now avoid (and why).
  • Foreign Ownership Restrictions – Exploring proven structures to deal with foreign ownership restrictions (with a focus on the Middle East) and issues to consider when choosing a local partner.
  • Due Diligence – Reviewing standard questions that should be explored prior to entering a new market (e.g., localization requirements, payment systems, quality control issues, etc).
  • Matching Mission to the Market – Identifying factors that U.S.-based nonprofit health systems should consider when exploring opportunities for international activities and structures for these activities.
  • New Horizons for Investment – Considering untapped opportunities for investment in healthcare, such as emerging artificial intelligence technology, digital health resources, consumer-facing healthcare, innovation with academic medical centers, and real estate.
  • Lessons Learned – Understanding potential issues from the U.S. and international perspectives that international activities may present.

Registration for the event is available here.