Trump budget plan would carve 18% from HHS, add millions to combat healthcare fraud

The added $70 million to fight healthcare fraud will help boost the “integrity and sustainability” of Medicare and Medicaid, the plan says.
The added $70 million to fight healthcare fraud will help boost the “integrity and sustainability” of Medicare and Medicaid, the plan says.

President Donald Trump's proposed budget plan for fiscal year 2018 slash the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services while putting additional funds into fraud prevention.

The budget blueprint, released by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Thursday, requests $15.1 billion less in funding for the HHS, representing a 17.9% drop from the level of funding for FY 2017. In total, the plan pledges $69 billion for the agency.

Listed among the healthcare highlights of the budget is a plan to boost the “integrity and sustainability” of the Medicare and Medicaid programs by granting an additional $70 million in funding for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control program. The program brought in $5 for every $1 it spent between 2014 and 2016, the plan notes. In total, the HCFAC program recouped $3.3 billion in FY 2016.

Financial support for “efficient operations” of Medicaid and Medicare is mentioned in the plan, although specific funding cuts or increases were not included. The administration has indicated the programs will be included in separate proposals.

The blueprint also includes plans to eliminate $403 million in healthcare worker and nurse training programs, which “lack evidence that they significantly improve the nation's health workforce,” according to the White House. Also on the funding chopping block is the National Institutes of Health, which would be cut by $5.8 billion, a 19% reduction. This plan would include reorganization to consolidate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.