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Members of Congress ask HHS to remove burdensome regulations to help providers, patients

September 29, 2017

Washington — Members of Congress are asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to remove regulations that “specifically and adversely impact dentists and their patients.”

Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., led the effort and the letter was signed by 17 members of Congress, including Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Brian Babin, R-Texas — all dentists and ADA members like Rep. Ferguson. The congressmen asked HHS to identify and lift regulatory burdens that “shift providers’ time and resources away from patient care and impose government-imposed mandates in place of providers’ best medical judgment.”

The regulations they asked HHS to reconsider are:

  • The rule requiring dentists to enroll in Medicare in order to treat patients who receive Medicare services from other providers, specifically the “ordering and referring rule changes requiring enrollment in Medicare’s Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System for any provider who orders tests or imaging services on Medicare-eligible patients” and Medicare Part D enrollment requirements.
  • The final rule requiring providers or suppliers that furnish health care items or services to enrollees receiving their Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage organizations to be enrolled in Medicare. “This rule precludes a patient’s right to seek treatment from a non-network provider and will disrupt established patient-provider relationships.”
  • The final rule on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. “We strongly support nondiscrimination in health care and equal access to health care for all Americans. However, providers continue to report great difficultly ascertaining compliance with the rule as implemented. We therefore urge you to reconsider whether the regulation, and the associated compliance burden, are necessary to implement the statute, as well as the feasibility of applying a small business exception to the current rule.”

The members of Congress told HHS that they applaud CMS’s efforts in reducing and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse they are “concerned that some efforts ostensibly aimed toward this goal have a questionable connection to program integrity and unintentionally create burdensome and unnecessary requirements for providers.”

In addition to Reps. Ferguson, Simpson, Gosar and Babin, the 13 other representatives who signed on were: Rick Allen, R-Ga., Mike Bost, R-Ill.,

Doug Collins, R-Ga., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Neal P. Dunn, M.D., R-Fla., Tom Graves, R-Ga., Jason Lewis, R-Minn., Roger Marshall, M.D., R-Kan., Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Austin Scott, R-Ga., Jason Smith, R-Mo., and David Young, R-Iowa.