Since President Trump has been elected, many of us have been eager to see how his proposed policies will impact federal departments and services related to healthcare. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, recently reviewed a blueprint that was released by President Trump. Now, we have gotten a glimpse of potential changes to come. We won’t have the details until the full budget proposal is released in May, but key points of focus have been published.
Specifics are unclear. There are several proposed cuts. Obviously, being healthcare providers, we are closely watching the proposed reduction of funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS). According to the blueprint, the president’s 2018 budget requests $69 billion for HSS. That would a 17.9% ($15 billion) reduction from the annualized continuing resolution (CR) level.
Below are 5 important points concerning President Trump’s proposed 2018 Budget for HHS:
- Supports direct healthcare services that act as a safety net for providers who deliver critical healthcare services to vulnerable, low-income populations.
- Attention concerning Medicare and Medicaid by investing in activities to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse while promoting efficient and high quality health care. The budget proposes $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 spending on highest priority activities necessary to effectively operate programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children Health Insurance Program.
- Supports substance abuse treatment services for the millions of Americans who struggle with substance abuse issues. The budget includes a $500 million increase compared to the 2016 budget for substance abuse.
- Reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) spending to $25.9 billion ($5.8 billion reduction). The budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s institutes and centers to help focus on the highest priority research and training activities.
In time, we will see if these blueprints are a success or failure. Whether we are providers or patients, we must stay current and learn how these changes could impact each and every one of us. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we are prepared to adapt to change and ensure the means to provide the highest quality of care and services to our patients!
Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center
1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1
Orange, CA 92868