President Trump Releases Blueprint for FY 2018 Budget
By: Shawn Hewitt, OTR/L- Rehab Product Manager at Mediware
Since President Trump was elected, many of us have been waiting to see how his proposed policies will impact many federal departments and services related to healthcare. Now that a blueprint has been released, we can get a glimpse into those changes, but we won’t have details until the full budget proposal is released in the May time frame. At that point, we anticipate additional Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP-related requirements
Although the specifics are still not clear, there are several proposed cuts. One area that we are watching closely, of course, is the proposed reduced funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Per the blueprint, the president’s FY 2018 budget proposal requests $69 billion for HHS. This would be a $15 billion, or 17.9 percent, reduction from the annualized continuing resolution (CR) level.
A few key points to President Trump’s proposed 2018 Budget for HHS:
- Supports direct healthcare services that serve as a safety net for providers who deliver critical healthcare services to low-income and vulnerable populations.
- Focus on Medicare and Medicaid by investing in activities to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and promote high quality and efficient health care. The budget proposes discretionary funding of $751 million in 2018 for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program, which is $70 million higher than the 2017 annualized CR level.
- Supports efficient operations for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and focuses spending on the highest priority activities necessary to effectively operate these programs.
- Supports substance abuse treatment services for the millions of Americans struggling with substance abuse disorders. The budget includes a $500 million increase above 2016 enacted levels to expand prevention efforts and to increase access to treatment and recovery.
- Reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) spending by $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion. The budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s various Institutes and Centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities.
- Reforms key public health, emergency preparedness, and prevention programs. For example, the budget restructures similar HHS preparedness grants to reduce overlap and administrative costs and directs resources to states with the greatest need. The budget also reforms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a new $500 million block grant to increase state flexibility and focus on the leading public health challenges specific to each state.
- Invests in mental health activities that are awarded to high-performing entities and focuses on high priority areas, such as suicide prevention, serious mental illness, and children’s mental health.
- Eliminates $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs, which lack evidence that they significantly improve the nation’s health workforce. The budget continues to fund health workforce activities that provide scholarships and loan repayments in exchange for service in areas of the United States where there is a shortage of health professionals.
Summary tables included with the FY 2018 budget blueprint:
Overview of base discretionary funding increases:
- Defense: +10.0%
- Homeland Security: +6.8%
- Social Security Administration: +0.2%
- Veterans Affairs: +5.9%
Overview of base discretionary funding decreases:
- Agriculture: -20.7%
- Commerce: -15.7%
- Education: -13.5%
- Energy: -5.6%
- Environmental Protection Agency: -31.4%
- General Services Administration: N/A
- Health and Human Services: -17.9%
- Housing and Urban Development: -13.2%
- Interior: -11.7%
- Justice: -3.8%
- Labor: -20.7%
- NASA: -0.8%
- Small Business Administration: -5.0%
- State: -28.7%
- Transportation: -12.7%
- Treasury: -4.4%
Mediware will continue to monitor the proposed FY 2018 budget as well as the latest bill to replace Obamacare and the ACA. Time will tell if these are blueprints for success or blueprints for failure. One thing is certain: We must all stay plugged in to learn how these changes could impact what we do in post-acute care. We all must continue to adapt to change and ensure the means to provide the highest quality of care and services to the patients and families served.
Source: America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again; https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf