What Impact Will the Trump Administration Have on Healthcare IT?

by | Jan 19, 2017 | Healthcare

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trump healthcareThere’s been a lot of discussion about what will happen to healthcare under the incoming Trump administration. Most of this discussion has focused on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its ramifications. In fact, the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates that repealing the ACA could lead to millions losing health coverage and skyrocketing premiums in the first year.

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So what will the change in administration mean for those of us in healthcare IT? How would a repeal of the ACA impact healthcare technology? What is the future of initiatives already in progress? Here’s a look at some of the most pressing issues.

Value-based care and MACRA

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) provides a new way to reimburse physicians. Because it passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, most experts agree implementation will move forward as planned under the new administration.

What to watch for: Some experts have noted that GOP lawmakers have expressed some concern over untested value-based care initiatives. As a result, they believe the pace of implementing value-based care programs may slow down. In addition, while Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Trump’s pick for Health & Human Services Secretary, voted in favor of MACRA, he has expressed some reservations about its implementation.


Statistics from the West Health Institute indicate interoperability between healthcare technology systems could help the U.S. save $30 billion per year in healthcare costs. With the current focus of meaningful use (passed during the Bush administration) focused on interoperability, all indications are that efforts will move ahead in this area.

What to watch for: It will be interesting to see if efforts toward a National Patient ID gain momentum. A Ponemon Institute study indicates that clinicians waste 28.2 minutes each shift – or $900,000 per year in lost productivity for each hospital – because of patient identity issues. Efforts toward a National Patient ID would go far towards achieving interoperability.


Telehealth is another area to watch over the next four years. Recent statistics indicate that the telehealth market is poised for growth, with a report by Foley & Lardner LLP reporting that the market will grow by a compounded annual rate of 14.3% through 2020. Telehealth programs have enjoyed bipartisan support and are seen as a way to improve access to care while reducing costs.

What to watch for: As Rebecca Vesely noted in an article for the Association of Health Care Journalists, any changes to Medicaid or Medicare could reduce the money that hospitals have to test alternative care programs such as telehealth. On the other hand, it could improve treatment options for the millions of Americans who might be impacted by a repeal of ACA.

The bottom line

While the ACA has certainly created a partisan rift, both sides of the aisle have generally agreed on matters of healthcare technology. Most experts don’t believe that will change anytime soon and are continuing to move forward on health IT efforts.

All of this means that healthcare organizations will have more and better information assets to work with. As a result, analytics will become an increasingly powerful tool to help them make better, more informed, data-driven decisions. This will help guide care and improve outcomes.

Ready for a test drive of our healthcare analytics software?

Kathy Sucich
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