House passes government funding bill, including plan to extend Medicare loan repayments




, House passes government funding bill, including plan to extend Medicare loan repayments

The Home Tuesday evening handed a bipartisan invoice that can fund the federal authorities by means of Dec. 11 and loosen up Medicare mortgage phrases for healthcare suppliers.

Lawmakers handed the deal—359 to 57—after negotiating by means of the day to achieve a consensus. The package deal is designed to keep away from a shutdown on Oct. 1. Whereas Home Democrats and the White Home determined to separate the funding invoice from COVID-19 reduction laws, some insurance policies that healthcare suppliers requested for had been included.

Hospitals have implored Congress to forgive or loosen up reimbursement phrases for $100 billion in COVID-19 reduction loans that Medicare gave out within the spring. CMS was supposed to begin recouping the funds by slicing suppliers’ Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement beginning in August, however that hasn’t occurred.

The invoice would give suppliers one 12 months after the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Fee Program mortgage was issued earlier than recoupment would start, an extension from 120 days below present legislation. The recoupment fee would even be lowered from its present 100% degree to 25% for the primary 11 months of reimbursement, and 50% for the six months afterward. Hospitals would have 29 months after funds to start to pay again the funds in full earlier than curiosity would start to accrue. The rate of interest could be lowered from the present fee of 9.6% to four%.

Home Power & Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Methods & Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) on Tuesday wrote to HHS and CMS accusing the administration of increasing the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Fee Program past its congressionally approved scope and failing to supply requested data to lawmakers. Pallone and Neal additionally requested CMS to supply readability as to when the Medicare loans would start to be recouped.

The laws additionally creates a brand new deadline for funding for a number of healthcare insurance policies, together with delaying cuts to Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital funds and increasing funds for applications such because the Cash Follows the Particular person demonstration, diabetes applications and neighborhood behavioral well being clinics. The insurance policies are set to run out on Nov. 30.

The brand new deadline creates a possible automobile for a last-ditch effort to ban shock medical payments post-election as senior GOP lawmakers who’ve advocated for reform face retirement, although the White Home is contemplating an government order on the difficulty of shock billing.

Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has stated whether or not he’ll carry the package deal up for a vote, although Democrats acceded to Republicans’ want to add support for farmers to the funding invoice.