Hospitals Granted Funding Relief, but Remaining Bills Spark Controversies

Extension of specific health care provisions included in spending package.

The Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate have recently released a package of six bills that will fund certain federal agencies through fiscal year 2024. Among these bills are provisions of interest to hospitals, which include healthcare measures. The House is expected to consider the legislation by March 6, followed by the Senate later in the week.

The healthcare provisions in the appropriations bills include several key measures that will impact hospitals. These include eliminating Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts for FY 2024, delaying FY 2025 DSH cuts until January 1, 2025, and extending several Medicare programs through December 2024. Additionally, the package reduces a 3.34% physician payment cut that began on January 1 and extends three graduate medical education programs through December.

Despite these positive measures, there are some concerns about the remaining six appropriations bills for FY 2024. Congress aims to release and vote on these bills before they expire on March 22, which includes the Labor, Health and Human Services legislation. This bill contains some controversial measures that have been met with opposition from various stakeholders, including hospitals. As such, it remains to be seen how these provisions will ultimately be resolved in the coming weeks.

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