Senate approves budget deal; site neutral provision correction rejected

December 17, 2015

Congressional leaders released a 2,009-page bill Dec. 16 that funds the government through Sept. 30, 2016. Lawmakers rejected a hospital-backed technical correction to the November budget deal’s site neutral provision and a fix for cancer hospitals advocated by the Seattle Cancer Alliance.

The House and Senate plan to vote on the measure later this week before adjourning for the year.

Under the budget deal, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, payments for all services provided by an off-campus, provider-based hospital outpatient department (HOPD) will be at the physician, ambulatory surgery center or clinical laboratory payment rate. The new rules do not apply to facilities online as of Nov. 2.

The fix would have allowed facilities “under development” to be paid the same as facilities in operation on Nov. 2.

The bill also funds a number of important health programs, including rural grants, NIH research, mental health and workforce training.

Click here to read more. (John Flink)


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