CMS searches for ‘pain points’ as part of healthcare regulatory reform

Senior Center News
Joni Schaff / Council on Aging Dir.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
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A new initiative launched by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2017, Patients over Paperwork (PoP), aims to roll back the regulatory burden on health care providers so they can spend more time with patients. CMS will be traveling the country to gather input from the various stakeholder groups. This will help identify “pain points” for the various groups and serve as a guideline for regulatory reform. The effort will seek to identify the right balance where patient safety and treatment quality remains the top priority while reducing rules and requirements that hinder the patient care process.

If you’ve been to a doctor’s office recently, you’ve probably seen your care team taking notes on a computer. One of the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, was that medical providers convert their paper records to digital format and implement an electronic health records system. The objectives of these systems were to improve quality, safety, efficiency and care coordination while maintaining patient privacy.

Meeting these objectives has been difficult because the systems can’t communicate with each other.

The project’s objective is to give patients control over their healthcare data. Not only will you be able to get a copy of your entire health record, you’ll be able to share it with anyone you choose to trust with it.

This will make it easier to move between healthcare systems or providers because your record, including test results, immunizations and medication details, can follow you wherever you go. Solving the data communication problems should decrease costs for both Medicare and beneficiaries in a myriad of ways, including eliminating duplicative tests and procedures, and improving safety by reducing the chances of dangerous medication interactions.

Next week’s column will feature the Photo of the Month at the Hardin Senior Center, whose subject is Betty Sjostrom.

Margaret and Cliff Arbogast have filled the Photo Gallery with wonderful scenery of their recent trip to Oregon. Also featured are activities and guests at the Hardin Senior Center.

The birthday dinner this month is on Wednesday, July 18. Please make a reservation by Tuesday, July 17 at 4 p.m.

A potluck/picnic is planned Friday, July 17 at the museum.

We offer congregate meals, home-delivered meals and transportation Monday through Friday in Hardin.

Everyone is welcome at the senior center. Most days, meals are available for those 60 and older at a $4.50 suggested donation. Under age 60, the price is $5.50. Call us at (406) 665-2581 with questions. We’d love to have you join us here, where it is always comfortable.

Hardin Senior Center menu:

Thursday, July 12 – meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, dessert
Friday, July 13 – chicken enchiladas, rice, beans, dessert
Monday, July 16 – sloppy joes, chips, dip, veggie tray, dessert
Tuesday, July 17 – turkey and rice soup, sandwich, dessert
Wednesday, July 18 – birthday dinner (ham)
Thursday, July 19 – French toast, sausage, fruit

Lodge Grass Senior Center menu:

Friday, July 13 – closed
Monday, July 16 – beef and noodles, tossed salad, roll, apple pie
Wednesday, July 18 – birthday dinner