July 06, 2017

Health Programs Addressed in Budget Deal

Health care advocates are cheering the recent bipartisan continuing resolution (CR), signed by President Donald Trump Feb. 9, to keep the federal government operating until March 23 while taking actions to repeal an Obama-era health care initiative and increase support for several health-related programs.

The spending bill has implications for the following: 

  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The CR permanently repeals the unpopular Medicare cost-control provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP is extended for four years beyond the previous continuing resolution’s six-year extension, with appropriations made through 2027.
  • Community Health Centers. Community health center funding is reauthorized for two years with appropriations of $3.8 billion for fiscal year (FY)2018 and $4 billion for FY2019.
  • Medicare payment cap for therapy services. The CR permanently repeals outpatient therapy caps beginning on Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education. Funding for Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education is extended for two years at $126.5 million annually to more than double the program’s annual funding.Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) floor. The CR extends the work GPCI floor for two additional years through Jan. 1, 2020.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) is reviewing the 400-plus page CR for provisions that could be potentially detrimental to the practice of radiology. ACR members will be informed about developments as they arise.