Health Care Blog
- Posted byon May 7, 2014 at 7:05 PM EDT
Over the last few years, Federal agencies have been implementing the President’s call for a government-wide review of existing regulations, identifying rules to be changed or removed because they are out-of-date, unnecessary, or overly burdensome. As part of this retrospective review, or “regulatory lookback,” agencies across the Federal government have identified hundreds of initiatives to reduce burdens and save taxpayer dollars. In fact, the retrospective review effort to date includes actions that will save more than $13 billion dollars in the near term, with more savings on the way.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) issued a final rule to reform regulations that the agency found to be unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and other health care providers. This final rule streamlines health and safety standards that health care providers must meet in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. One key provision in the final rule will specifically reduce burdens on small critical access hospitals and rural health clinics. CMS projects that the rule changes it is issuing today will save more than $3 billion over the next five years for the American health care system.
Today’s CMS action is just the latest example of an agency eliminating requirements it has determined are no longer necessary. Another example of recent agency action includes the Department of Transportation’s proposed rule issued last summer to streamline requirements for truck drivers and motor carriers that would ensure drivers only have to file inspection reports when they identify vehicle problems or have reason to believe problems might exist. When finalized, this change is estimated to save tens of millions of hours in paperwork burden each year, resulting in more than $1 billion in annual paperwork time savings.
Ensuring regulatory flexibility for businesses and reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens through the retrospective review process are top priorities for the President and the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. And the retrospective review is a critical part of the Administration's regulatory efforts to promote economic growth and opportunity while protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the American people. We will continue to work with our colleagues at Federal agencies on this effort and on ways to further institutionalize retrospective review as an essential component of government regulatory policy.
Howard Shelanski is Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.
Three Families in Pennsylvania Wrote the President About Health Reform -- Then They Thanked Him in PersonPosted byon May 1, 2014 at 4:05 PM EDT
Carol wrote to let the President know her son, Brendan, would not have been able to afford his medical bills without insurance.
Judith sent a note to share that her daughter and son-in-law are saving hundreds of dollars a month with the plan they purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace. And John noted that he and his wife are saving $900 a month.
The President read their letters -- and then, while traveling in Pittsburgh, he had the opportunity to meet with these families in person.
These are just three of the millions of families across the country who continue to benefit from the Affordable Care Act.
It's a moving video -- take a look, and pass it on.
- Posted byon April 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM EDT
This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a Passover Seder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.
- Posted byon April 17, 2014 at 3:58 PM EDT
Speaking from the White House Briefing Room, President Obama announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.
What's more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected:
- Posted byon April 11, 2014 at 3:17 PM EDT
Today, President Obama announced that Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget would follow Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Secretary Sebelius’s work over the last five years have been critical to the health and welfare of the American people, and will benefit our families and this country for decades to come, President Obama said.
She has fought to improve children’s health, from birth to kindergarten; expanded mental health care; reduced racial and ethnic disparities; brought us closer to the first AIDS-free generation. She’s been a tireless advocate for women’s health.
And, of course, what Kathleen will go down in history for is serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America.
- Posted byon April 9, 2014 at 4:05 PM EDT
Today, the Administration took another historic step in making data open and accessible to the public, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released information for the first time about the types and frequency of medical services that doctors and health care providers deliver to people with Medicare and about how much providers are paid—all while maintaining the privacy of beneficiaries.
This is great news for the American people. These valuable data had been inaccessible for decades, and today’s release provides unprecedented visibility into how American seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare are treated.
These data create transparency for consumers to help inform their health care decisions such as which doctor to choose, or which course of treatment to pursue.
As we have seen with other releases of government data—from car safety ratings, to consumer credit card complaints, to weather and climate measurements and the recent launch of the Administration’s Climate Data Initiative to help spur the development of resiliency tools—this kind of openness and transparency can fuel innovation and research for years to come.