While visiting the Villages yesterday President Trump signed the anticipated executive order on Medicare. Anything impacting Medicare matters big time. 44 million Americans are currently using Medicare and the news isn’t good when you look out less than eight years into the future. Medicare is currently projected for insolvency starting in 2026. Without positive changes in the outlook, there would be an immediate 9% cut in Medicare part A benefits starting in 2026 and would progressively worsen from there. So,what did President Trump’s executive order do?
It requires the Health and Human Services Secretary to present and implement regulations within a year covering these areas:
- Additional Medicare Advantage plan options
- New Medicare Medical Savings Accounts for supplemental benefits
- Access to telehealth services through Medicare
- Evaluating the“certificate of need” status in states that maintain the restriction on hospital operators (Florida just ended the mandate)
- Ensuring fair compensation for doctors to ensure maximum physician choice
- Reducing paperwork, codes, related regs
In other words, it changes nothing for now. It also doesn’t specifically address solvency issues, although if fraud is reduced by fewer loopholes and opportunities to abuse the system, it could help marginally. But in fairness, any of the big fixes will require an act of Congress. What this does have is the potential to help put an end to the hemorrhaging of doctors accepting Medicare. Currently, only 68% to 81% of doctors accept Medicare based on the medicine practiced. That number has been steadily dropping with lower reimbursement rates and increased red tape. This has the potential to improve the process for doctors and improve options for patients.
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