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President Signs Executive Order on Medicare

October 4, 2019

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PRESS CONTACTS
Allyson Perleoni, Senior Legislative Analyst
Andrew Amari, Hospital Policy and Regulatory Specialist

President Trump Oct. 3 signed an executive order directing the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to promulgate a number of rules relating to the Medicare program.

In a speech given at The Villages retirement community outside Orlando, Florida, Trump touted his administration’s efforts to improve Medicare for seniors while decrying Democrats’ calls for “Medicare for All.” Trump stated that, “They want to raid Medicare to fund a thing called socialism.”

The order directs HHS to initiate rule-making to expand Medicare Advantage beneficiaries’ access to tax-advantaged medical savings accounts. The Trump administration has prioritized Medicare Advantage and its growing number of beneficiaries, and the order seeks to expand upon this by calling for increased access to supplemental benefits, in particular telehealth.

The executive order also includes a number of other provisions, many of which the administration has already proposed, including so-called “site-neutrality” policies that eliminate justifiable differences in payment between sites of care; language aimed at reducing administrative burden on providers; and eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse.

The order also calls for a review of reimbursement for physicians and non-physician providers to more closely align payments with the “work performed rather than the clinician’s occupation,” as well as a more streamlined process between Food and Drug Administration approval and Medicare coverage and reimbursement for “innovative products.”

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