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OON/Surprise Billing - Update

December 16, 2019 -

The congressional surprise billing legislation under consideration was left out of the year end package.

Language for the package was filed in the House December 16 and did not include surprise billing, and instead funds a number of other health-related provisions.

With the extenders funded until May 2020, this may be the same timeline for action on surprise billing.

Year-end package health related funding


  • Permanently repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices.
  • Permanently repeal the sales tax on health insurance.
  • Permanently repeal the excise tax on employer-provided health insurance plans.
  • Extend the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Trust Fund (PCORI) until 2029.
  • Exclude complex rehabilitative manual wheelchairs from Medicare competitive acquisition program.
  • Provide Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the Territories until FY2021.

Medicare Extenders Until May 22, 2020

  • Extend the work geographic index floor under the Medicare program (GPCI).
  • Extend funding for quality measure endorsement, input and selection.
  • Extending funding for outreach and assistance for low-income programs.

Medicaid Extenders Until May 22, 2020

  • Extend the Community Mental Health Services demonstration program.
  • Delay DSH reductions.
  • Extend spousal impoverishment protections.
  • Extend the Money Follows the Person rebalancing demonstration program

Public Health Provisions

  • Fund community health centers until May 22, 2020.
  • Fund the National Health Service Corps until May 22, 2020.
  • Fund teaching health centers that operate GME programs until May 22, 2020.
  • Fund Special Diabetes programs until May 22, 2020.
  • Reauthorizes the national poison center network program through FY2024. This allows the use of other communication technologies (in addition to the national toll-free number) to control centers and requires the program to include toxic exposure (in addition to poisoning) in nationwide media campaigns.
  • Extends funding for the HPOG demonstration through May 22, 2020. In fiscal year 2020, local HPOG grantees will enter the fifth year of demonstration grants which require them to use a career pathways approach to help disadvantaged workers enter health professions in need of workers. In addition to the grants, HPOG funding supports rigorous evaluation and technical assistance to grantees.
  • Updates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to increase the minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age.
  • $5 million funding for the Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department Act (ALTO)