Congress also approved a large package to fund the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Many of the bill’s provisions focus on primary care, rural health services and prevention efforts, such as services to address substance abuse and research. Most relevant to ASCs, however, is $284 billion in mandatory funding for Medicare Part B benefits. The Part B funding, which includes outpatient services, is a 16 percent increase from 2018. The legislation also directs HHS to report to Congress on the most frequently purchased and most expensive drugs in Medicare, and to list those that received significant research subsidies.
Among numerous functions, these legislative packages will help ASCs continue to provide care to veterans and Medicare beneficiaries and reduce expenses for our health care system at large.
For more information on congressional appropriations and other federal legislative activity, write Jeff Evans.