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Congress Prevents Steep Medicare Cuts in $2.3 Trillion Spending Package

On Dec. 21, Congress released a massive omnibus spending bill that includes nearly $900 billion for coronavirus relief. The COVID-19 plan will be attached to a $1.4 trillion Fiscal Year 2021 spending package to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. The measure incorporates several priorities of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). Specifically, the legislation:

  • Prevents steep Medicare cuts by earmarking $3 billion to help offset the budget- neutrality adjustment and by delaying for three years the new G2211 add-on code for certain complex office visits;
  • Extends the moratorium on the 2% Medicare payment sequester for an additional three months through March 2021, allocating $3 billion for this purpose;
  • Provides funding for 1,000 additional Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) residency positions;
  • Bans surprise medical billing and incorporates a process for resolving payment disputes for out-of-network care; and
  • Includes $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and extends the PPP through March 31, 2021.

A more detailed summary of the legislation will be forthcoming.