aamc.org does not support this web browser.
  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Finance Committee Releases Discussion Draft Legislation Ahead of Markup


    Allyson Perleoni, Director, Government Relations
    Sinead Hunt, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    On Nov. 2, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) released discussion draft legislation ahead of a Nov. 8 committee markup. The sweeping package includes policies to expand mental health care and address pending Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts.  

    The discussion draft would eliminate scheduled Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. It would also mitigate an upcoming cut to physicians under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule by postponing the 1.25% statutory reduction remaining from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117-328) [refer to Washington Highlights, Jan. 4]. The legislation would also extend advanced alternative payment model bonuses through calendar year 2026. 

    The legislation includes several provisions informed by the committee’s 2022 bipartisan initiative to address barriers to behavioral health care access [refer to Washington Highlights, April 1, 2022]. The bill would incentivize the integration of physical and behavioral health care through a temporary increase in reimbursement for certain Medicare behavioral health integration payment codes. The legislation would also permanently extend the state plan option established under the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (P.L.115-271) allowing Medicaid coverage for services rendered to certain enrollees who are patients of an institution for mental diseases.  

    The legislation would be paid for with reductions to both the Medicare and Medicaid Improvement Funds.