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Will midterm elections lead to regulatory change?

The results are in — Democrats gained at least 28 seats in the House of Representatives and have control of the chamber while the Republicans hold their majority in the Senate. This shift could impact a number of areas, including the push for regulatory relief in the healthcare industry.

President Donald Trump has pushed to reduce regulatory burdens in certain areas, but will his administration do the same for the healthcare industry? Current efforts as noted in a recent piece by the National Law Review include:

  • Patients over Paperwork and Meaningful Measures initiative. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has designed this initiative to ease the administrative burden experienced by many clinicians.
  • Red Tape Relief Project. The House Ways and Means Committee put together this project to explore various possibilities to reduce burdens on Medicare. The group is to put together a report on their findings.
  • Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care. The practice of medicine is continuing to evolve from one where a patient sees various independent practitioners to one where the patient has a group of various medical professionals working in conjunction towards the patient’s overall health. In an effort to help meet this change, the administration announced this effort in early 2018. The administration designed this effort to encourage coordinated care efforts between medical professionals. As currently written, the law can thwart these efforts. In some cases, joint efforts between medical professionals can result in allegations of violations of the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback statute.

Although it is likely the results of the midterm elections will not slow these efforts, it is important to note some changes will require more than just regulatory action. In some cases, new legislation will be required to bring about the desired change.

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