CMS rule on 'risky' provider affiliations withdrawn by Trump administration

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A rule that would have placed more scrutiny on providers' partnerships has been put on hold by President Donald Trump's administration.

The rule, proposed last February, would require providers to report affiliations with individuals or organizations that “pose risks” to the Medicare program in order to cut down on fraud within the program. The final version of the rule had already been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget when a memo from Trump's administration was released last Tuesday asking federal agencies to hold all regulations not already published in the Federal Register.

The regulatory freeze would allow Trump's appointees to review all new or pending rules, Reince Preibus, White House Chief of Staff, wrote in the memo.

The final Medicare rule had not yet been published to the Federal Register, so it was withdrawn under the president's request. The rule's delay may dampen federal fraud enforcement efforts, Bloomberg BNA reported.

All other pending rules from the Department of Health and Human Services also appear to have been withdrawn in the days since the memo's release. As of press time only three pending regulations were listed on reginfo.gov, one from the Department of Transportation and two from the Department of Energy.

In other CMS-related news, the agency announced Tuesday that it has again moved back its first Skilled Nursing Open Door Forum of the year, this time from Feb. 9 to March 23.