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President Signs Omnibus Spending Bill

On Dec. 27, former President Donald J. Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) — a massive omnibus spending bill that includes nearly $900 billion for coronavirus relief and an additional $1.4 trillion spending package to fund the federal government through the end of the Fiscal Year 2021. Addressing several of organized neurosurgery’s advocacy priorities, 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;
  • Temporarily freezes alternative payment model (APM) payment incentive thresholds for two years, allowing more physicians to qualify for the 5% APM bonus payments;
  • Provides funding for 1,000 additional Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) residency positions and increases funding for the Children’s Hospital GME program;
  • Increases funding for the National Institutes of Health;
  • Encourages reimbursement for opioid alternatives; and
  • Bans surprise medical bills.

Click here for a summary of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.