Trump Executive Order, ACA No Immediate Impact Promises Simplification and Freer Markets

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Trump Executive Order, ACA No Immediate Impact Promises Simplification and Freer Markets

Michael Arrigo weighs in regarding Affordable Care Act and Trumpcare

Michael Arrigo healthcare data, regulatory, economic and anti-trust expert witness in Federal State and Civil Courts on ACA, HIPAA, Healthcare costs in malpractice and personal injury, False Claims Act cases involving Medicare Advantage and Electronic Health Records. Contact now

As promised, President Trump signed the first executive order regarding the Affordable Care Act.  Let’s examine what this might mean.  

The Trump Executive Order, ACA sends more of a message rather than effecting any immediate change.  It signals a reduction in administrative burden to the American healthcare economy. TrumpCare may be more like Obamacare in the end with respect to covering Americans with health insurance and more like a capitalist free market when it comes to purchasing insurance.

President Trumps’s Executive Order regarding the Affordable Care Act states that the ACA should be “efficiently implemented” and “minimize unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens,” “flexibility” and “free market place.”  It also suggests that actions should be consistent with existing rule making procedures.  That means new policy proposals should be posted for public comment before being made law. Since most of the ACA was implemented by 2014 and the next significant events are planned under the ACA in 2018 the executive order does not have much immediate impact.

Trump Executive Order, ACA : All Key ACA Provisions Are Still in Force

Trump Executive Order, ACA and key provisions:

  1. Requirement to have insurance for all Americans
  2. Tax or penalty by the IRS for failing to have insurance
  3. No citizen can be denied insurance based on pre-existing medical conditions
  4. Medicaid expansion enabling millions of Americans to continue to have insurance who live at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Level
  5. The most important change appears to be that the Federally Funded Exchanges for health insurance will be re-tooled into more “…a more free and open healthcare market…”

Immediate Impact on Average Americans With Insurance or Seeking Insurance Coverage

Trump Executive Order, ACA and coverage for Americans impact: Minimal.  At this time, no American should be losing coverage or become ineligible for ACA coverage and no American should be paying more for their healthcare costs.

Impact on Employers

The Trump Executive Order, ACA has no immediate impact on employers but we expect penalties and tax burdens to be reduced particularly for smaller businesses.

Future Impact on Health IT Infrastructure

Trump Executive Order, ACA and Health IT: Several market segments are in play:
1. Insurance exchanges – we expect high impact to this market segment – “free and open market” language of Trump’s executive order will require overhaul of FFEs and State funded exchanges.
2. Provider infrastructure – revisions in the definition of value based care will require a re-tooling of MIPS and MACRA

Insurance Exchanges

Trump Executive Order, ACA and Insurance Exchange impact: Significant.  Health Insurance Exchange business models will change and we expect that there will be a significant overhaul of FFE business models and IT infrastructure.  The most important shift, and one which may be tested in the Supreme Court is the switch from State regulated health plans to allowing health plans to sell their plans in other states. This is actually  more compatible with the ACA than anti-ACA.  The ACA was the first major piece of legislation to take some power from the States as to the benefits provided in health plans.  If the Trump administration is successful switching insurance to a business that can be offered over the internet in all 50 states by a company in one location this expansion increases consumer choice.  It will require a significant overhaul of the exchanges to accomplish.

Impact on Health Care Payors / Insurers

Trump Executive Order, ACA and payors: Immediate impact is minimal.   We expect Cadillac tax repeal to help health plan profitability

Impact on Health Care Providers

Trump Executive Order, ACA and health care providers: Short term, minimal.  Long term, we expect Physician and Congressman Tom Price, MD to make it less burdensome to comply with some provisions of the ACA.

Regulations that Are Untouched – the HITECH ACT

Trump Executive Order, ACA and the HITECH Act: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) HITECH Act and Meaningful Use provisions are untouched.  The U.S. paid out over $34 billion in stimulus funds to adopt electronic health records.  The payments were made to Eligible Providers (EPs or physicians), Eligible Hosptials (EH) and Federally Qualified Health Centers.   Clinical quality measures and other underpinnings of value based care remain.  The HITECH Act is NOT part of Obamacare.

Value Based Care, MIPS and MACRA

Trump Executive Order, ACA and Value Based Care: MACRA is the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. … MACRA combines parts of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-based Payment Modifier (VBM), and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program into one single program called the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, or “MIPS”.

It is unclear what Trump and Dr. Price’s actions will be with regard to this key value based care initiative.  However given the complexity of MIPS and MACRA and their intersection with Electronic Health Records we expect changes that will be twofold:

1. Less burden on providers with respect to future provisions of Meaningful Use (such as Stage 3 which has not been adopted and for which no stimulus funds of any significance remain)
2. A repeal or slowing of forced adoption of value based care measures such as MIPS and MACRA.

Accountable Care Organizations

Trump Executive Order, ACA and Accountable Care Organizations: ACOs are overly complex and have significant data latency problems with respect to government reporting. We expect candidate for HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price’s administration to overhaul and simplify this blend of payor and provider.

Medicare Part C / Medicare Advantage

Trump Executive Order, ACA and Medicare Advantage: We expect Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) to be relatively unchanged in the short term.  Longer term we expect an overhaul and simplification of risk adjustment coding and reimbursement strategies.  However, purchase of supplemental insurance (“MedSup” plans) and managed medicare plans will be impacted as Insurance Exchanges switch models.

MINIMIZING THE ECONOMIC BURDEN OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PENDING REPEAL

“…Section 1.  …seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended (the “Act”).  ….imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

Sec. 2.  … the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall … waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the 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.

Sec. 3.  … shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.

Sec. 4.  …. 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.

Sec. 5.  … comply with the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable statutes in considering or promulgating such regulatory revisions.

Sec. 6.  …(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations….(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP”

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By | 2017-05-04T04:06:17+00:00 January 24th, 2017|Accountable Care Organization, Affordable Care Act, Trump|0 Comments

About the Author:

Michael is Managing Partner & CEO of No World Borders, a leading health care management and IT consulting firm. He leads a team that provides Cybersecurity best practices for healthcare clients, ICD-10 Consulting, Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records. He advises legal teams as an expert witness in HIPAA Privacy and Security, medical coding and billing and usual and customary cost of care, the Affordable Care Act and benefits enrollment, white collar crime, False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback, Stark Law, Insurance Fraud, payor-provider disputes, and consults to venture capital and private equity firms on mHealth, Cloud Computing in Healthcare, and Software as a Service. He advises self-insured employers on cost of care and regulations. Arrigo was recently retained by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding a significant false claims act investigation. He has provided opinions on over $1 billion in health care claims and due diligence on over $4 billion in healthcare mergers and acquisitions. Education: UC Irvine – Economics and Computer Science, University of Southern California – Business, Stanford Medical School – Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Law School – Bioethics.

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