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October 1, 2020

Shutdown averted: Government funded through Dec. 11

Medicare’s Work Geographic Index Floor and Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs extended.
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Within the final hours leading up to the end fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding, President Trump signed a continuing resolution (CR) into law, preventing the U.S. government from shutting down. The CR passed the House and Senate earlier this week and will continue to fund the government at FY20 levels through Dec. 11. Also included in the bill are the following health care provisions:

  • Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs
    • Extension of repayment timeline:
      • Providers will have 29 months from their first payment to fully repay the loan.
    • Delay implementation of the repayment period for hospitals and providers:
      • Providers: 210 days before loan payments begin.
      • Hospitals: One year before loan payments begin.
    • Reduced interest rate to 4 %.
  • Extension of Medicare’s Work Geographic Index Floor
    • Extended through Dec. 12, 2020.

AGA continues to work with congressional offices to encourage passage of the full FY21 budget due to the impact on the research community. We are also monitoring the progress of future COVID-19 relief legislation. Although White House and Democrat leadership negotiations broke down in September, talks of a scaled-down package have resurfaced. Speaker Pelosi has indicated that she will bring the relief package to the floor as soon as it is ready for a vote. Both sides are still lacking consensus on the cost of the package and issues such as financial relief for states and liability protections for businesses and providers.

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