• Simplification Ahead

    Administrative Simplification Win: HHS Finalizes SUNSET Repeal

    Move Follows Staunch AAFP Advocacy

    June 2, 2022, 9:05 a.m. News Staff — The AAFP’s push for administrative simplification scored a significant victory May 27, when HHS announced it would withdraw a harmful rule mandating that thousands of existing health care-related regulations be reviewed or rescinded.

    stack of papers

    The AAFP objected to the Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely rule’s lack of clarity and its potential to introduce new burdens on physicians. Its likely negative impacts included the diversion of federal energy from more urgent public health and health care policy priorities, even as the nation’s COVID-19 response continues to demand resources.

    SUNSET was announced Nov. 4, 2020, given an unusually abbreviated 30-day public comment window and finalized on Jan. 19, 2021, the last day of the previous administration. The Academy led the charge against enacting the rule, cautioning that it would “increase regulatory complexity and lead to disruptions for a myriad of health care stakeholders.”

    A lawsuit led the agency to delay SUNSET’s implementation, a reprieve the Academy welcomed. HHS’ own estimates suggested that some 78,000 hours of labor would be required to complete the reviews of more than 2,500 existing regulations imposed by the rule as written. Other analyses suggested it would be time-consuming and costly without yielding regulatory improvements.

    Finalization of the rule’s withdrawal is July 26.