If you seem to be struggling with Phase 2 requirements, changing survey rules or other recent mandates, it might not seem like Uncle Sam is taking his foot off the regulatory pedal.

But believe it or not, the overall picture has been improving. And it might get even better in 2018.

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget issued its Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. This semi-annual report is compiled by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

OIRA put a budget against each regulatory body for 2018. The authors expect annual costs run up by these rule-makers will collectively decline by almost $700 million. And as a general rule, organizations spending less money typically do not increase output. So there’s that.

And as for 2017? President Trump announced Thursday that federal agencies had actually beat the regulatory goal he established when taking office: to eliminate two rules for every new one proposed, without additional regulatory costs.

Trump said his administration actually eliminated 22 regulations for each new one on the books.

“We blew our target out of the water,” Trump said.

“By the way, those regulations that are in place do the job better than all the other regulations and they allow us to build and create jobs and do what we have to do,” he noted.

Trump also called on his Cabinet members to make deregulation a bigger priority in 2018.

“I don’t know if we’ll have any left to cut, but we’ll always find them,” he said.

Should he need any help, I’m sure the folks at the American Health Care Association and LeadingAge will be more than happy to oblige.

John O’Connor is the Editorial Director at McKnight’s.