Inside Health Policy: Lawmakers Prep For 2020 Medicare Positions, Must-Pass Bills

Wynne said one area where lawmakers could exercise oversight is the site-neutral cuts to off-campus hospital departments recently finalized by CMS.

“The wide range of aggressive regulation (and deregulation) the Administration has pursued will be thoroughly investigated and challenged by Democratic committee leaders, especially administration efforts to dismantle the ACA and to test the legal bounds of the hospital site neutrality policy enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015,” Wynne says.

Along with the extenders, Wynne says lawmakers may want to tackle the leveling out of physician payments under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

“A likely addition to this discussion will be the fact that Medicare physician payments, per MACRA, are scheduled to flatline for 2020-2025 before beginning to increase again, albeit in divergent ways for doctors participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment Program (MIPs — 0.25 percent/year) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs — 0.75 percent/year). The AMA assuredly noticed this little wrinkle in the celebrated legislation but hundreds of thousands of doctors probably did not,” Wynne says. (paywall protected)