Trump Order Could Place Home Health Regulations on Chopping Block

For every new regulation, two must be cut. That’s one of the latest directives coming from President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order on Jan. 30 that aims to cut back on burdensome regulations for American businesses and reduce regulatory spending.

With the new order, home health care organizations are eyeing a new “window of opportunity” to get harmful regulations out of the way.

Though the move throws additional uncertainty into the mix of major changes likely in store for the health care industry, industry groups are already reworking their efforts to ease the onslaught of new regulations impacting home health care agencies. A promised repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one area where regulatory cuts could be implemented.

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) has identified seven burdensome regulations they hope to see changed or scaled back entirely.

“If anything, we’ve redoubled our efforts,” Tracey Moorhead, president and CEO of VNAA, told Home Health Care News. “We spent the last year talking about the burdensome regulatory environment. We now see a window of opportunity to effect change.”

However, it may be “virtually impossible” to predict how this latest order will impact home care, according to Bill Dombi, vice president for law with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

It has already come into question whether the recently issued Conditions of Participation (CoPs) will be halted following President Trump’s executive order to pause all new regulations for a review period, which he signed in his first week.

With the latest regulatory executive order, VNAA is seeking relief when it comes to the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD), face-to-face documentation requirements, and more. The organization has been working with Congress and advocating for changes through legislation for years, and will continue through a regulatory route.

“For every regulation in, two are coming out,” Joy Cameron, vice president of policy and innovation with VNAA, told HHCN. “If that’s opening a window to take a regulatory approach, why not take all paths available?”

There is also some newfound hope as the Trump administration continues to take shape and new leadership is confirmed. VNAA, along with the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHHC), convened with the Congressional Home Health Caucus and Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA-02) and Walter Jones (R-NC-03) on Feb. 1 to continue pushing forth their agendas.

Another bright spot could come in the form of Representative Tom Price (R-GA), who authored legislation last year to put a pause on the PCRD, which is set to begin in Florida April 2017.

“We’re very optimistic about the role of Secretary Price as he steps into the role of Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services,” Moorhead said. “He has been well informed and is highly engaged in relief of regulatory burdens, particularly on PCRD.”

Written by Amy Baxter

Photo Credit: “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore, CC BY 2.0