Stimulus Bill Includes Funds for Health Care

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  • February 13, 2009
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The House and Senate passed the final version of the stimulus bill (H.R. 1) Feb. 13. President Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill Tuesday. Several provisions in the bill provide additional funding for health care across a wide range of programs and initiatives. We have summarized these items for your information.

The bill will provide:

  • $8.5 billion for National Institute of Health (NIH) to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and heart disease
  • $1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research facilities
  • $17 billion to accelerate adoption of health information technology (HIT) systems by doctors and hospitals
  • Approximately $87 billion over the next two years in additional federal matching funds to help states maintain their Medicaid programs
  • A 60 percent subsidy for COBRA premiums for up to nine months
  • $1 billion for a new Prevention and Wellness Fund
  • $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research

The AAPC will continue to update members on how this and other legislation will affect the health care industry.

No Responses to “Stimulus Bill Includes Funds for Health Care”

  1. Cathy says:

    Only time will tell!! Will need to see if this really will be sent to the above organizations for any type of relief or if this is just a “numbers” game as usual…………..

  2. Marisela says:

    $17 billion to (HIT) how will that work????
    Does this mean they will attempt to correct the corrupt Insurance World????
    Insurance companies jip (Providers) from money by saying everything is included!!!????
    Making us spend time and money appealing claims that have been denied incorretly…????
    I really belive Insurances Program their systems to deny a certain amount of claims per day!!! to delay payment……. to not pay…. to see what provider will fight for their money!!!…..
    I Really hope they fix this one day!
    As for the state medicaid FINALLY! So many problems for soo long!!! They should Increase Payments to providers toooo!!!!!
    I Also think they should of injected al ot more money to PREVENTION……That would be the key………Just my opinion….

  3. Charity says:

    I didn’t see anything in this package that is going to help doctors get reimbursement except possibly the medicaid part.
    One of the biggest problems we have is Insurance companies stating a patient is effective paying the claim then requesting a refund due to retroactive termination. In this case it would make more since for the insurance company to collect this from the patient rather than the doctor. Wouldn’t it? Just a thought. I’d like to see a policy that kept the insurance companies honest rather than concentrating on limiting the doctors.

  4. Karen says:

    all of the pros and cons aside – bottom line – this is a stimulas package – how is any of this ‘stimulating’ the economy and getting money into the working populations pocket so they can start buying and spending and ‘stimulating’ the economy??? none of the above projects will help folks buy food or pay their rent or mortgage or put Joe Smith back to work at the local RV manufacturer – isn’t that what we were told the ‘stimulas’ package was going to do?
    congress got what it wanted – a big spending package with oversized government trying to run everything. my physicians office going all electronic won’t bring the patients in or improve my bottom line and in turn enable me to fuel my local economy by buying more services.
    look at how well government is running your states medciaid programs and medicare, not to mention the soon to be bankrupt social security fund they have been raiding for decades – do you really want them fiddling in other areas of healthcare?
    again, STIMULAS, where is it?

  5. Andrea Lantzy says:

    $1.5 Billion on renovating the NIH??????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will someone please explain to me HOW ON EARTH THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH STIMULATING THE ECONOMY!!!!!!!
    AND WHAT EXACTLY IS “Comparative Effectiveness Research” and why does it need $1.1 Billion???? I am thoroughly disgusted with Congress and this President-how many days left until we can vote him out???

  6. Mary Ellen says:

    The Stimulus Bill is will help millions of people – specifically by providing money needed for jobs and healthcare coverage. The billions going to NIH and other agencies will fund new and expanded research programs – that means jobs for researchers, support staff, construction jobs for facilities, sales of equipment etc. Thousands laidoff from this sector will be re-employed under new grant and project funding. Facilities will be updated and constructed to support them. The billions going for Healthcare IT will gain in the same way by providing monies for development and implementation of new and improved IT applications for EMR, E-prescribing and best practices data. Your physician offices will be better able to afford this new technology via subsidy/incentive payments and benefit from the streamlined processes this technology provides for your patients – including additional reimbursement for just reporting your participation. That specifically affects job creation and support for medical coders and billers. States will receive financial assistance for Medicaid programs in dire need so patients will have coverage versus none. Likewise, patients facing cutoff from COBRA coverage will have extensions of insurance coverage. Thus, physicians will receive payment for services versus charity care writeoffs. The Stimulus Package is the grassroots rescue plan for healthcare. Living in Detroit sucks now – few jobs, little insurance, and financial ruin everywhere you look. I look forward to seeing any influx of spending – we need jobs and the economic recovery that comes along with it.

  7. Lori Doll says:

    I agree to some degree with Karen, however time will tell. It is amazing how we as americans judge someone else right now until we walk in their shoes.
    What about all the thousands out of work? What can we, they, all of us do to help?
    We can not continously rob peter to pay paul.
    Recycle something today, get involved in your community, help with the elderly, don’t just sit still, do something, read to someone, comfort someone, smile at someone. STAY INFORMED

  8. Kris says:

    Thank you Mary Ellen for explaining the questionable details. I agree with you. Healthcare needs whatever it can get and moving toward EMR will help us and the future generations. Some of these efforts may cost us but will be an investment for our grandchildren!

  9. Tamela says:

    It is amazing to see so many people complaining about the stimulus bill. Healthcare is only one piece of the pie of this bill. Instead of complaining! My question is that we all have a vested interest in this country and if you have idea as to how to restart the economy then by all means make that suggestion to the President or your state and local leaders. Karen what are your great ideas! I would love to hear them!

  10. Gina says:

    I agree with Karen…But Andrea, here is how $1.5 Billion in renovating the NIH will stimulate the economy…It will give a job to those who…research the diseases that seem to be attacking us and our families, it will give a job to the person who is suffering, after they recover from that disease that currently has no cure, give a job to the person that works for the drug company that supplies the drug, give a job to the person who supplies the drug company with the ingredients to make that drug, give a job to the person who packages the drug after it is made and sent to the hospital or pharmacy, give a job to the person who works at that hospital or pharmacy, and we can’t leave out the person who drives the trucks with the packages/boxes, with the drugs inside of them. And then there is the gas station who supplies the gas to fill that truck/train, etc…
    That is how WE stimulate the economy. If you suffer from either a job loss or have a family member with cancer or may even have cancer yourself, you won’t care about “Comparative Effective Research” you just want someone to do their job, so you can do your job or get a job! Instead of being “disgusted” with Congress and OUR President, see what you can do to help or start a business so someone can get a job! Focus on the positive. EIGHT years is a long time to be disgusted.

  11. Karen says:

    I completely agree with Mary Ellen, Kris and Gina. Thanks for emphasizing how this stimulus pkg. is intended to work. I am so tired of people complaining re: this package. We as a country need to understand that something has to be done to help everyone. Gina and the like have explained it wery well. For too long different sectors of the economy have suffered, including healthcare on all levels and hopefully this move will aid in bringing about some positive change.

  12. Gina says:

    Sorry, I made a mistake Karen that message was sent for you also…Mary Ellen, Kris, and Tamela I think we are all on the same page and ladies keep up the hard work!

  13. Sharon says:

    This is not the forum in which to shout about your personal political views.
    Stick to the topic.

  14. Judy says:

    This stimulus package will not help providers get paid more let alone in a more timely fashion. The Medicaid system needs to be completely revamped! How can someone have United HealthCare, Anthem etc., and get Medicaid coverage too? Give the needy food stamps and healthcare if they are truly needy but hold out on the healthcare coverage if they have other health insurance. This is what is wrong with the system. The way to stimulate the economy is to begin where the problem originated to begin with, the home loans! Healthcare did not get us in this mess. Giving home loans to those who can’t afford to pay it back is the problem. Give money into the unemployment fund, they are about to run out. If the US can’t make a comparable car to the foreign automakers then don’t buy them out. We have the technology, we also have a bunch of lazy people who show up at union factories and keep their jobs because of the union. Stimulate your brains and you will stimulate the economy!

  15. John Nelka CPC CPC-H PMCC says:

    in addition to running a for profit I also run a non profit that’s mission statement is to not
    turn away anyone who cannot afford medical treatment because of no insurance I sure hope
    this hopes and I am Republican

  16. judi says:

    This covers jobs and some help for people who need it now. Health care reform will come later. I think we need a one payer system and ICD-10 for more efficiency. It’s not the health care they need to reform, it’s the health care payment system. Give this bill a chance–it’s not perfect and it can’t cover everything, but we need something done. Let the President and your representatives know your ideas-they work for us and have to do what we say.

  17. Mary says:

    Mary Ellen! I think you were right on!

  18. LYNDA says:


  19. pricilla brewster says:

    Everything in life require patience. God did not build the world in one day, so we need to be praying
    that the decisions that our President signs will be ordained by God and it will cause a positive Domino
    affect on our Economy. Be Of Good Courage and Wait on the Lord! Psalm 27-14.

  20. Donna says:

    I dont know that the stimulas plan will work, time will tell. However, I am sick and tired of spending my tax dollars on bailing people out. Why dont the big corporations reorganize, cut the fat and quit taking extravagant vacations at my expense. I really dont care if they have a good vacation or not, or that they have the option of commuting in a lavish jet. And as for the Medicaid program and the amount of fraud from people that know how to work the system, do people have any idea of how much that program is costing each of us. I mean really, it is sickening. I agree with Lynda, take the healthcare portion of the stimulas package,hire people to investigate, and cut the medicaid fat!!!!! Quit making it easy for people to be irresponsible.

  21. Sarah says:

    How does my office apply for help in obtaining some of the stimulus money for the adoption of the EMR/HIT systems. We have been quoted for a system starting at $70,000 to $140,000. We are just a small office. We need some money!!!

  22. Joanie says:

    We’ve been on EMR for 6 years. It cost the doctors a small fortune just to maintain. HIPAA & NPI also cost the doctors money. I don’t remember the govt stepping in and helping to cover the cost of any of this for the doctors. Over the past 6 years, most of their services have had a decrease in reimbursement. Insurance companies are not responsible for anything. Too much of the risk/cost of providing healthcare falls on the doctors. They end up providing serices for free when an ins co pays & then pulls the money because the patient happened to have not been insured at the TOS — even though we get that information ahead of time.
    The way to save money in healthcare is to stop the fraud – beginning with how the insurance companies commit fraud against the doctors. the doctors don’t want the ins co or the govt telling them how to treat patients or run their business.

  23. Joanie says:

    Look at the past and it will tell you some about the future. We KNOW how the govt runs Medicare & Medicaid. Medicaid regulates the size of envelope you use to mail corrected claims in and then they send you an R&S on one patient that is 14 pages long. If the public knew what we know about Medicare & Medicaid they would be furious over the government waste. Talk about the tax code being confusing.
    $8.5 billion & $1.5 billion for NIH and all the other billions mentioned above are not going to create jobs worth that much money. What’s worse is we don’t even have the money — we’re borrowing it against future generations who will be paying it back with interest.

  24. suzette says:

    Yes, time will tell. But I alway say people will have their opinion but until you have walked in that person’s shoes do we really think we may or may not do anything different. Is there really a fix, if everyone is not playing on the same team. A house divided cannot stand. Oh, but the power of agreement can really have a big impact on solving alot of issues we are facing. But again everybody got an opinion. But nobody is stating this is the solution, because nobody really knows, but people will whole the president accountable. I guess someone has to be the fall guy for the mess.

  25. Lav says:

    Sarah your quote of 70-140 K seems high if you are a 1 doc practice. I work for a systems integrator that implements one of the top rated systems. We charge considerable less.

  26. Denise says:

    Andrea and Karen….wait til you have someone in your family have a heart attack, Alzheimer or cancer. These studies are important to the health care system and people lives. Please do not knock what you don’t understand. People who research these program have jobs!!!!who have mortages, buy food, kids and car pmts.