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HHS Draws Curtain on the Healthcare Regulatory SUNSET Final Rule

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On May 27, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it was withdrawing the Securing Updated Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely final rule (SUNSET final rule), which was originally set to take effect on March 22, 2021. The SUNSET final rule was published on the last day of the previous administration — Jan. 19, 2021 — and required HHS regulations with a significant economic impact to be reviewed by HHS or the applicable agency every 10 years, with regulations automatically expiring if they were not reviewed in this period. This would have impacted more than 17,000 HHS regulations and required a review process considerably faster than HHS ever conducted previously.

After a lawsuit sought to overturn the rule, HHS delayed the effective date by one year, until March 22, 2022 . Then in March 2022, HHS published a notice of proposed rulemaking to consider whether to formally withdraw the SUNSET final rule and delay its implementation. This delay gave the Biden administration additional time to consider the allegations in the lawsuit, and — based on the “different policy views of the Biden-Harris administration” compared with the Trump administration that issued the rule originally — the effects of […]

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