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Help CMS Put Patients Over Paperwork

08/02/2019

CMS wants our help. They say they want to reduce the administrative burden on patients and providers, but I will start by helping you, since whoever wrote the instructions got it wrong: "You may submit electronic comments on this regulation to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 'Submit a comment' instructions." Actually, you have to first enter "2019-12215" in the search window, then select "Comment Now."

Some of my ideas:

  • Stop asking the patient whether a work-related incident caused the injury or illness. Your physician may not even know the answer. Workers Compensation programs have to hire forensic experts to provide opinions about causality. They only thing CMS should ask the patient is whether they want to claim an industrial cause.
  • Black lung: After they have asked you 20 times whether you have black lung benefits, including at your provider encounter 2 days ago, it seems unlikely that you will suddenly qualify.
  • VA benefits: ditto
  • It also seems unlikely that the answer to the question of whether you qualify for Medicare based on age versus disability will change between appointments.

I just hope the bureaucrats sincerely want to do better.