Consistent with Executive Order 13563, which calls for a “streamlined, effective, efficient regulatory framework designed to promote economic growth, innovation, job-creation, and competitiveness,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has committed to an “ongoing retrospective review” of agency regulations.
The HHS’s retrospective review plan has five principal goals:
- To streamline or eliminate unjustified costs and burdens
- To increase transparency in the retrospective review process
- To increase opportunities for public participation
- To set clear retrospective review priorities
- To strengthen analysis of regulatory options
To achieve these goals, HHS has set out a multi-step plan:
- Take inventory: HHS will set forth a compilation of potentially outdated regulations for review and identify the applicable review authority. HHS expects to complete this task by the end of December.
- Use Existing Information on What Should be Reviewed: On an ongoing basis, HHS receives suggestions about what regulations need review and possible change. Some of these suggestions resulted in the agency determinations about which regulations would be good candidates for a retrospective review
- Set Priorities: Identify regulations that agencies could easily modify, streamline, or rescind to address regulatory burdens or inefficiencies, and identify regulations that may be ripe for review because of changes in circumstance.
- Integrate Regulatory Analysis into the Retrospective Review Process: For those regulations undergoing an extensive and thorough review, the Department will assist agencies in conducting a sound regulatory analysis to determine whether the regulatory activity is meeting the original objectives or whether an alternative, less prescriptive activity would achieve the same result.
- Evaluate Regulatory Effectiveness: Per HHS, “A good and comprehensive process of retrospective review must contain an evaluation component a way to evaluate whether the regulation is effective in curbing the behavior it seeks to minimize or in providing incentives for behavior it seeks to enhance.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) currently estimates that the revisions produced as a result of the retrospective reviews may save as much as $600 million annually and $3 billion over five years. You can find a preliminary list of regulations identified as candidates for review over the next two years on the CMS website.