Remember all the noise we heard about the government’s commitment to trimming regulatory excess?

To refresh your memory, here’s what President Trump had to say last December:

“Instead of eliminating two old regulations for every new regulation, we have eliminated 22,” Trump noted. He then went on to announce more cuts would be on the way.

And here’s what Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma had to say:

“The changes we’re proposing will dramatically reduce the amount of time and resources that healthcare facilities have to spend on CMS-mandated compliance activities that do not improve the quality of care.”

To be sure, the overall effort to ease restrictions is in full force. The government is aiming to trim about $686.6 million from deregulation by the end of 2018, according to published reports.

Everyone, it seems, has less red tape to deal with as a result. Except, apparently, skilled care operators.

As we reported earlier, the federal government released new quality-of-care data, along with a firm admonishment that the sector needs to do better.

This follows a CMS proposal that mandates civil money penalties against skilled nursing home staff who fail to report “reasonable suspicion” of crimes.

Another recent report suggested nursing homes are piling on gobs of unnecessary therapy services, and implied some action should be taken to curb the abusive practice. (For what it’s worth, the American Health Care Association blasted both the report and the data it rests on.)

Of course, all of this is mere prologue to the big event. The Patient-Driven Payment Model is on the horizon.

Most notably, this new framework will remove therapy minutes as the basis of Medicare payments. The new standard will be resident classifications and anticipated resource needs.

Think this new approach might fuel provider confusion, accusations of gamesmanship, or calls for follow-up rules? Yep, me too.