Patients over Paperwork Initiative: Explained

 You most likely have heard of the Patients over Paperwork Initiative by now and may be wondering what exactly it is. To simplify, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started the initiative this year to reduce the many administrative requirements that were complicating the process of providers working with insurance. It gives your patients the power to make some decisions about their care and is intended to improve health outcomes. The often frustrating red tape that surrounds documentation is supposed to be less difficult to get around with the revisions the initiative is bringing.

For established patients, it used to be that providers had to re-document a list of required information for treatment each visit. Now, you will only need to document what has changed since the patient’s last visit, not the extensive list of patient history and symptoms once they are already included in the patient’s chart.

For established and new patients, providers will not have to re-enter medical record information or chief complaint/history after it is already recorded by other staff members. Review the information and confirm with the patient what information was provided to you. It is still important to update any changes the patient discloses and to indicate that you have confirmed the information with the patient.



CMS FAQ. Evaluation and Management (E/M) Visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). Nov 26, 2018.

CMS Newsroom, Fact Sheet Nov. 1, 2018. “Final Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2019:”