‘Change Is Coming’: HHS Secretary Maps Out Blueprint To Lower Health Care Costs
The Trump administration will make it easier for patients to access their health records, encourage health providers to be more transparent about the costs of procedures and services and remove regulations that “impede” innovation, HHS Secretary Alex Azar told industry officials.
Trump's Health Chief Warns Hospital Execs About Health Care Costs: 'Change Is Coming'
President Trump’s new health secretary issued a warning Monday to a room of hospital executives about soaring health care costs: change is coming, whether you like it or not. Speaking at the Federation of American Hospitals convention in D.C., Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar laid out a series of actions the administration will take that are aimed at lowering health care costs, and warned that it wouldn’t be deterred by powerful special interests. (Hellmann, 3/5)
Azar lays out four-prong approach to value-driven care
“Change is possible. Change is necessary. And change is coming,” Azar told the Federation of American Hospitals annual policy conference. “This administration, and this president, are not interested in incremental steps. ... We are unafraid of disrupting existing arrangements simply because they’re backed by powerful special interests.” (Pittman, 3/5)
In other news from the administration —
FDA Makes Two High-Level Hires In 'Strategic Initiatives'
A management shuffle at the Food and Drug Administration Monday moved two officials into high-ranking positions, giving them more authority over the agency’s strategy. Theresa Mullin is moving up from being the director of the office of strategic programs at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research — starting Monday, she’s working directly in the office of the CDER Director, Janet Woodcock, as the associate director for strategic initiatives, according to an email that Woodcock sent to her staff. (Swetlitz, 3/5)
Kaiser Health News:
At New Health Office, ‘Civil Rights’ Means Doctors’ Right To Say No To Patients
The Trump administration is embarking on a sweeping effort to redefine civil rights in health care, with critics accusing the Department of Health and Human Services of sidestepping the rights of patients to soothe a far smaller constituency: conservative nurses, hospitals and other caregivers. The department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has been greatly strengthening and expanding protections for health care providers who have religious- or conscience-based objections to procedures such as abortion. (Huetteman, 3/5)