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HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Force Regular Review of Existing Regulations

November 6, 2020

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CONTACTS
Heather Pierce, Sr. Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Counsel

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule on Nov. 4 that would require the regular review of many existing regulations.

Under the proposal, any regulation that has not been promulgated or reviewed in 10 years would undergo a two-step analysis — first to determine if the regulation is subject to review under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and then to decide whether the regulation is still needed or should be rescinded or amended.

The relevant department would have two years to amend or rescind any regulation that is subject to the new rule and is assessed as not having the intended impact or being duplicative of other efforts.

In a statement, the HHS said: “When agencies impose regulations, they make projections about the regulation’s impact on the public. Once a rule has been in place, agencies should test those projections and see what real-world impact the regulation is having and amend or rescind if appropriate. This proposed rule would incentivize the HHS to conduct these performance reviews of its regulations to ensure that rules are delivering the benefits projected in view of the best available science, data, and evidence.”

Comments on the proposed rule are due Dec. 4, 2020, except for comments on proposed additions to the regulations to 42 CFR parts 400-429 and parts 475-499, which are due Jan. 4, 2021.

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