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Neurosurgery Priorities Addressed in Omnibus Spending Bill

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117–328) — a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government — addressed several of organized neurosurgery’s advocacy priorities. The legislation:

  • Provides bonus payments for physicians participating in Medicare advanced alternative payment models, extending them for one year through 2025 — although the bonus payment for 2025 will be 3.5% rather than 5%;
  • Extends the current COVID-19 public health emergency telehealth flexibilities for two years through December 2024;
  • Provides funding for 200 Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) residency positions and increases funding for the Children’s Hospitals GME program;
  • Includes funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for an additional two years through FY 2029;
  • Increases funding for the National Institutes of Health; and
  • Allocates $25 million for firearm injury and mortality prevention research.

Unfortunately, despite neurosurgery’s advocacy efforts and encouragement, and strong bipartisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, the spending bill did not incorporate the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173/S. 3018), which would streamline prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage Program. A $16 billion cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office stalled progress.

Click here for a summary of AANS/CNS 2022 legislative accomplishments.