The Senate approved a broad, House-drafted spending bill that puts a stop to six out of seven recently issued Medicaid regulations. The bill, however, does not include a hospital industry-backed measure that would greatly limit how much of a stake a physician could own in certain types of hospitals.
For hospitals, the legislation blocks three White House-backed regulations that would limit payments to safety net facilities, cut funding for graduate education programs and refigure provider taxes that are used to help offset Medicaid expenses. As written, those three regulations would have trimmed millions in funds for hospitals.
By delaying the administrations regulations, Congress has protected important resources (that) help train Americans next generation of doctors and help ensure that hospitals remain strong and able to provide the necessary care the communities they serve rely upon, Richard Pollack, executive vice president at the American Hospital Association, said in a written statement.
A trio of other ruleswhich would limit payments for rehabilitation services, certain case-management programs and school-based transportationwere also blocked as part of the bill.
The healthcare provisions, part of a war-funding bill passed by the House and which the president is expected to sign, left out other measures that the hospital industry wanted. The bill, for instance, doesnt stay a proposed rule that limits the types of services that could be provided on an outpatient basis. Nor does it stop a CMS directive that would limit enrollment in the State Childrens Health Insurance Program. The AHA and the Federation of American Hospitals both lobbied for those provisions to be included in the bill. -- by Matthew DoBias