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Congress Passes Medicare Physician Payment Legislation

Last week, Congress passed the first batch of appropriations bills for fiscal year 2024, along with a scaled-down version of several healthcare provisions. The “skinny” healthcare package includes a 1.68 percent increase to Medicare physician pay—about half of the 3.37 percent cut that went into effect on January 1. The new payment rate began March 9 and will be paid on claims going forward through the end of 2024.

The appropriations package also extended funding for several existing healthcare programs through December 31, 2024. Other healthcare-related provisions in the spending package include:

  • Elimination of $8 billion in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) cuts for 2024.

  • Extension of Advance Payment Model (APM) bonuses by 1.88 percent.

  • Extension of the work geographic practice cost index (GPCI) floor through December 31, 2024.

  • Requirement for state Medicaid plans to permanently cover medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Without additional Congressional action, physicians will face another round of Medicare payment cuts in 2025, highlighting the growing need for permanent Medicare payment reforms. To learn more, visit

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