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Congress Considers Health Program Extenders as Part of Replacing SGR

As reported in “On the Hill,” the Senate Finance Committee will mark up the legislation to reform the Medicare physician payment system Dec. 12. Key congressional staff members have discussed other health programs that could be permanently extended as part of this proposal. These programs include the Qualifying Individual Program, the Transitional Medical Assistance Program, the Express Lane Eligibility option, Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act bonus payments, and Medicaid primary care bonus payments. Congressional staff members have indicated that the total cost of including all of these extenders could be more than $200 billion. The total cost of replacing the current Medicare physician payment system is estimated to be $139 billion. Offsets are not expected to be discussed during the mark-up.

Contact Shawn Gremminger, assistant vice president for legislative affairs, at sgremminger@essentialhospitals.org or 202-585-0112 with questions.

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