Speak Up About Healthcare Reform
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking comment on how it can create a more patient-centered healthcare system that adheres to the key principles of affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, and empowerment.
An Executive Order President Trump issued on Jan. 20, entitled, “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal,” directs HHS to reduce regulatory burdens and improve health insurance options for consumers. To that end, HHS issued on June 8 a Request for Information (RFI) from stakeholders.
Here’s The Challenge
As a healthcare business professional, you have the advantage of seeing both sides of the spectrum. You know what’s working and what’s broken. Your insight is needed. This is your chance to make a difference and, as former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt challenged attendees at HEALTHCON 2017, “lead the reform.”
In the Executive Order, the president directs HHS to:
- Afford states more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market;
- Provide relief from any provision or requirement of the Affordable Care Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any state or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications;
- Provide greater flexibility to states and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs; and
- Encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.
It’s Time to Act
In the RFI, HHS seeks input from the public on changes that will help them achieve these directives. Specifically, HHS is soliciting comment about changes it should make to existing regulations or guidance that could lead to:
- Empowering patients and promoting consumer choice. What activities would best inform consumers and help them choose a plan that best meets their needs? Which regulations currently reduce consumer choices of how to finance their healthcare and health insurance needs?
- Stabilizing the individual, small group, and non-traditional health insurance markets. What changes would bring stability to the risk pool, promote continuous coverage, increase the number of younger and healthier consumers purchasing plans, reduce uncertainty and volatility, and encourage uninsured individuals to buy coverage?
- Enhancing affordability. What steps can HHS take to enhance the affordability of coverage for individual consumers and small businesses?
- Affirming the traditional regulatory authority of the states in regulating the business of health insurance. Which HHS regulations or policies have impeded or unnecessarily interfered with states’ primary role in regulating the health insurance markets they know best?
See the RFI for submission requirements and the deadline.
You may find it helpful to use the AAPC Forums as a sounding board as you construct your comments. This would make a great topic for a local chapter meeting, too!
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