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Capitol Correspondence - 12.12.23

Biden Administration Unveils Regulatory Priorities in Fall 2023 Unified Agenda

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released the Fall 2023 Unified Agenda, offering insights into the Biden administration’s regulatory priorities. With legislative progress facing challenges in the 118th Congress, federal agencies are poised to play a crucial role in shaping President Biden’s policy agenda for 2023 and 2024. Notably, health care-focused agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have outlined a range of regulatory initiatives.

The Unified Agenda, typically published in both Spring and Fall, serves as a roadmap for regulatory priorities. While the timelines presented are often aspirational, they signal the administration’s focus on specific regulatory actions. This strategic release aims to solidify regulatory measures early in election cycles, making them more resilient to potential changes in Congressional and/or White House control.

CMS, in accordance with federal law, is set to advance annual Medicare payment policies. The agency’s agenda includes finalizing multiple Medicaid rules designed to enhance access in both fee-for-service and managed care settings. Streamlining Medicaid eligibility and addressing various policy topics, such as Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, Medicare Part B rates, and civil monetary penalties (CMP), are key areas CMS intends to tackle in the coming  Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services (the Access Rule), 504 regulations, and the Overtime Rule both have a final action date of April 2024. Additionally, the Adult Protective Services proposed rule has a final action date of May 2024. The rule Minimum Staffing Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities and Medicaid Institutional Payment Transparency Reporting has a final action date of September 2026, an unexpected delay for the beleaguered proposal.