5 federal healthcare updates

From an increase in U.S. healthcare spending to a proposed rule that could save $454 million a year in administrative costs, here are five federal healthcare updates Becker's has reported on since Dec. 20:

1. U.S. healthcare spending increased 2.7 percent in 2021, reaching $4.3 trillion or $12,914 per person, according to CMS.

2. The Joint Commission is undergoing sweeping overhaul of its standards, eliminating 168 standards (14 percent) and revising another 14. The organization is looking to make its accreditation programs as "efficient and impactful on patient safety, quality and equity as possible," according to Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission.

3. The Joint Commission is launching a new voluntary certification program, Health Care Equity. Hospitals will be invited to pre-apply for certification in early 2023, though the application will not be available until July 1.

4. Lawmakers rolled out a roughly $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill Dec. 20 to fund the U.S. government through most of 2023, tacking on proposals to extend telehealth and hospital-at-home flexibilities while leaving out other healthcare asks.

5. CMS proposed a rule that could save a projected $454 million a year in administrative costs by adopting standards for "healthcare attachments" transactions, such as medical charts, X-rays and provider notes that document physician referrals and office or telemedicine visits.

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