Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and Site Neutrality Implications

The Senate passed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, by a margin of 64-35 in the early morning hours of Oct. 30. The House passed the bill by a margin of 266-167 earlier in the week. In addition to setting spending levels for fiscal 2016 and 2017 and raising the debt limit until March 2017, this legislation averts the scheduled Medicare Part B premium spike that would impact a large number of beneficiaries next year. Under current law, over 30 percent of beneficiaries would face a 52 percent increase in their Part B premiums for 2016.

The ACC has evaluated this legislation through careful internal analysis and extensive contact with ACC member leaders, congressional staff and other medical societies. One of the offsets in the bill includes a change to the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services' site of service policy. This policy change will apply only to practices integrating with hospitals and functioning as off-campus provider-based hospital departments (OPDs) after enactment of the law. All other OPDs will be grandfathered and can continue operating under their current status. This provision does not reduce existing payments in any setting.

The bill now will be sent to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it soon.

Keywords: Budgets, Health Expenditures, Hospital Departments, Hospitals, Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part B, Societies, Medical, United States

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