Health Care Industry Cheers ‘One in, Two out’ Executive Order

For every new regulation, at least two old ones must be axed

Health care industry stakeholders are celebrating President Donald Trump’s latest executive order, which requires government departments or agencies to remove at least two previously implemented regulations for every new one issued, according to an article posted on the Modern Healthcare website.

Under the new order, the White House will set an annual cap on the cost of new regulations. For the rest of fiscal 2017, the cap will require that the cost of any additional regulations be completely offset by undoing existing rules.

The order could have major ramifications for health care, one of the most-regulated industries in the U.S. economy, according to the article. Providers and vendors must grapple with myriad rules drafted by numerous agencies and departments, including the FDA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Almost all of these rules and regulations carry a cost burden. They include licensing requirements; quality and safety inspections; and standards for adhering to payment policies. Among the major ones released last year are a rule that mandated the medical loss ratio for managed-care plans and overhauled how these plans are overseen by the CMS; a ban on discrimination at federally funded hospitals, physician practices, and clinics; a rule that allowed claims data to be sold; and a rule on the new payment models outlined in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

Trump’s executive order could also have an impact on implementation of the recently passed 21st Century Cures Act, according to the article. The act requires the FDA to make significant changes to its review processes and policies to accelerate the drug-development process. Regulations that deal with internal agency processes are exempt from the order, but other parts of the act could be affected, including major provisions intended to improve mental health care and opioid addiction treatment.

Trump said that his executive order is aimed at “cutting regulations massively for small business.” He added that it was the “biggest such act that our country has ever seen.”

Source: Modern Healthcare; January 30, 2017.