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Unlike the ICD-10 coding system which continues to increase in volume, CMS points to a consolidation of clinical quality measures into the future as outcomes-based reporting aligns with the drive towards value based care.  Recent CMS initiatives could impact process measures reported by anesthesia providers.

During the fall, CMS Administrator Seema Verma released remarks discussing the need to prioritize consolidating quality measures to lessen provider burden stating, “… we don’t think about how all the regulations and rules come together for one system.”

CMS publishes some 11,000 pages of regulation per year. Recognizing their contribution to the problem, CMS is working to reduce the administrative burdens or reporting requirements across all CMS programs. Two new initiatives were announced this fall, Patients Over Paperwork and Meaningful Measures.

Patients Over Paperwork Initiative

CMS’s Patients Over Paperwork initiative aims to reduce regulatory burden, increase efficiency and improve the beneficiary experience. It comes as the result of a collaborative process for evaluating and streamlining regulations to reduce physician burnout and increase the amount of time medical providers spend with patients. 

Meaningful Measures Initiative

The Meaningful Measures Initiative strives to prioritize core issues that are vital to high-quality care delivery and improved patient outcomes. Quality measure development will promote and become more focused towards clinical outcomes that are meaningful to the system as a whole: patients, families and their providers.  High impact measurements will be addressed to safeguard public health issues such as the opioid crisis.

“There’s a lot of process measures. And so as we go forward with paying for quality, the idea is – what is quality and what is value? How do we measure that? We want to move away from process measures and really focus on the outcomes,” stated Verma.

The efforts to consolidate measures are not intended to suggest that current care quality measures are not important. Rather, CMS is trying to be mindful of providers reporting workload and how more critical measures can become the focus.

abeo will continue update on the impact specific to anesthesiologists since many clinical quality measures are identified as process measures. It seems clear from Verma’s comments that accommodating the value-based care system will keep the focus on outcomes-based measures.


Visit to submit comments regarding quality measures.  Note, CMS sets a specific time frame by topic for when they are accepting comments on particular rulings or programs.  The date this article is accessed will impact whether CMS is currently accepting comments regarding quality measures, but it’s good to be aware of the opportunities they provide for receiving feedback from the industry.



abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.

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