Wednesday, June 12, 2013

SCDHHS Identifies Regulations Causing Burdens

Earlier this year, Gov. Nikki Haley issued an executive order requiring all state agencies to review their operations and eliminate any unnecessary spending and regulatory procedures. The governor did not cite any specific regulations that should be eliminated, but listed three state agencies that would likely have the most regulations to trim: the Department of Health and Environmental Control; the Department of Licensing, Labor and Regulation; and the Department of Health and Human Services; all of which impact health care.

"There is no better way we can help [our] businesses than to loosen regulatory burdens and we're asking our cabinet heads to look at their procedures and policies to make that happen,” said Haley earlier this spring. To facilitate this, all agencies were asked to provide their personal recommendations and findings to the taskforce by May 15.

This week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released its findings. As part of the review, SCDHHS evaluated the agency’s current and proposed regulations and any current and proposed South Carolina statutes, rules, regulations and policies disseminated or implemented by SCDHHS that may unduly burden businesses or employers.

In March and April, the agency sought input from the public through statewide community forums and accepted comments by means of e-mail, mail and telephone. SCDHHS also performed an internal review of its own policies and conducted an employee survey to identify possible burdens. While this report is not exhaustive of all the comments received and addressed by SCDHHS, the comments could be largely grouped into the following categories: process improvement/claim processing, prior authorization, communication/provider support, cost reports, managed care (MCOs) and conflicts with other state agencies.

In addition to the report to the task force, which included both regulatory burdens on businesses and proposed recommendations to relieve those burdens, SCDHHS was able to identify other burdens and processes impacting the agency’s consumers and customers. An internal team is now working to address and streamline these processes.

To review DHHS’ report, including public comment and findings, click here.

With many of our state agencies having a direct link to the health care that is provided in our state, the SCMA expressed the critical need for physicians to voice their opinions earlier this spring as each agency sought public comment. We thank all of our physicians who reached out in the form of public comment or by attending a public hearing to voice their concerns. The SCMA will continue to keep its members abreast as other state agencies such as LLR and DHEC release their findings.

Source: SC DHHS