October 10, 2019

President's Medicare Executive Order Reduces Regulatory Burdens

President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order October 3, 2019, on “Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors.” The order directs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to explore regulations to provide Medicare beneficiaries with more diverse and affordable plan choices by encouraging the expansion of Medicare Advantage.

Other provisions of the executive order directs Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to work with Tomas Philipson, acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, to submit to the president a report identifying approaches to modify fee-for-service Medicare payments to “more closely reflect the prices paid for services in MA and the commercial insurance market” and to encourage price competition.

Azar will also be required to propose regulations to reduce physician burden and allow providers to spend more time with patients. Suggested actions include eliminating burdensome billing requirements, conditions of participation, supervision requirements, benefit definitions and other licensure requirements that are more stringent than applicable federal and state laws.

The order also covers the following:

  • Encouraging medical innovation by streamlining the coding and coverage processes
  • Rewarding care through site neutrality
  • Making available to patients better quality and cost data, and
  • Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse to protect beneficiaries and taxpayers.

American College of Radiology staff will closely monitor actions taken by the Secretary and CMS in response to the executive order.