Health and Science

Doctors drowning in flood of Obamacare regulations: Cleveland Clinic CEO

Regulation is causing healthcare consolidation
Regulation is causing healthcare consolidation

In the seven years since the introduction of Obamacare, health-care industry regulation has soared to all-time highs, Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove told CNBC on Friday.

"The number of quality metrics that we have to report to the government every year is just going up like crazy. We're now reporting well over 100 quality metrics on a regular basis," Cosgrove said on "Squawk Box."

The regulation paperwork comes in the form of a 7-foot-tall stack of 16,000 pages, Cosgrove said. He said frequent modifications in the regulations are hard enough to keep up with, but then consider that the total amount of knowledge in health care is expected to double every 73 days by 2020.

As regulation and industry knowledge expand, the health landscape is becoming increasingly unstable, so much so that smaller practices have no choice but to consolidate with larger systems, he said.

While the numbers are exciting from an innovation perspective, the industry will undoubtedly face daunting challenges in keeping track of all the changes, he said.

Data centers, human resources, supply centers, purchasing and billing will all still require attention, and that will prove difficult if health-care businesses continue to drown in seas of paperwork, he said.