Minnesota's Hospital Association, which represents most of the hospitals in the state, is applauding federal efforts to cut red tape in its Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The Obama administration released three regulations on Tuesday saying they would save the nation's hospitals and health care providers about $1 billion annually.
Some of the changes will allow nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants to expand their roles, said Lawrence Massa, the Minnesota Hospital Association's president and CEO.
"Their scope of practice in Minnesota would allow them to do certain things but Medicare wouldn't pay for those things," Massa said. "Now it's going to bring Medicare reimbursement into clinics, into hospitals, for some of those services that we couldn't get paid for in the past."
Massa said while the Obama administration's savings estimates might be a bit high, he said there will be some savings from reduced paperwork.
"Our members will be able to adjust some of their practices probably not in ways to eliminate whole positions," Massa said. "But it will allow them to reprogram somebody's time who've been spending time doing some of these unnecessary things to more productive pursuits."
Other rule changes will allow health systems with several hospitals to have a single governing board.