U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Leads Bipartisan Push to Lower Wasteful Health Care Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/18/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—along with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)—are leading bipartisan legislation to help develop innovative ways to reduce unnecessary administrative cost burdens.  

Estimates suggest that while administrative cost burdens could account for over one quarter of total health care spending in the United States, much of it is not directly related to delivering quality patient care. Sens. Smith and Cassidy’s bill directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take steps toward reducing unnecessary administrative costs across the health care system by at least 50 percent. It also provides support for states to tackle this challenge at the local level.

“Our bipartisan bill aims to reduce health care costs for individuals, families, and the system more broadly by calling on the federal government to eliminate unnecessary costs and administrative burdens,” said Sen. Smith. “Cutting out this administrative waste can improve patient care and reduce the hassle health care providers face when delivering care. Our bill builds off important work underway in Minnesota, Louisiana and states across the country to cut wasteful spending while upholding high-quality patient care.”

“Administrative costs may be 30 percent of health care spending in America, unnecessarily increasing costs,” said Dr. Cassidy.“Eliminating wasteful health care spending will lower costs for patients and improve access to quality care.”

The Reducing Administrative Costs and Burdens in Health Care Act will reduce administrative costs by:

·       Reducing federal spending on health care administration by requiring the federal government to develop and execute on a plan to reduce administrative costs across the health care system by at least 50 percent over the next decade, without affecting the quality of care.

·       Supporting state-level innovation by providing resources to curb administrative costs in key areas, including physician and hospital credentialing, the use of and exchange of data, and compliance measures. The bill also provides support to accelerate the adoption of new technologies that will support the integration of clinical and administrative systems.  

You can read the full text of the bill here and access a summary of the legislation here.