And the industry is poised to gain another likely sympathetic ear in Washington. Tom Scully, whom the White House this week formally nominated to run the Medicare program under Thompson, previously ran a national for-profit hospital association.
Hospital officials said that they didn't precisely know how to strike the right mix involving preventing fraud, documenting important medical information, and keeping health professionals from drowning in a sea of Medicare forms.
"I don't know the answer or how to fix this," Mansfield said.
But for starters, the AHA says it wants greater input from providers on new requirements and for Medicare to reflect the cost of complying with new rules into Medicare reimbursement updates. Bipartisan legislation introduced this Congress would require further testing before new documentation requirements are launched for physicians.