What's in the Year-End Legislation?


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What's in the Year-End Legislation?

December 22, 2020

Today, Congress passed year-end legislation to fund the government through the rest of Fiscal Year 2021 and provide additional COVID relief. In addition to these provisions, the legislation also included major health-related policies. You can find the full bill text here and key takeaways and section-by-section summaries below.

FY2021 provisions at a glance:

  • Provides $23.395 billion in discretionary funding, $217 million above the FY 2020 enacted level
  • Includes $730 million for the expansion of broadband service, including $250 million to the FCC to carry out the temporary telehealth pilot program authorized under the CARES Act
  • $42.9 billion for NIH, an increase of $1.25 billion above the 2020 enacted level
  • $7.9 billion for CDC, an increase of $125 million above the 2020 enacted level
  • $6 billion for SAMHSA, an increase of $133 million above the 2020 enacted level

Find a full section-by-section summary here.

COVID relief provisions at a glance:


  • Extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and restores the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation to all state and federal unemployment benefits at $300/week through March 14, 2021
  • Provides a refundable $600 tax credit for individuals and $1,200 for married filing jointly. The credit phaseout begins at $75,000 of modified adjusted gross income ($112,500 for heads of household and $150,000 for married filing jointly) at a rate of $5 per $100 of additional income. Payments will be based on 2019 federal tax returns.
  • Creates a second loan from the Paycheck Protection Program with a maximum amount of $2 million/loan
  • Authorizes $15 billion for the SBA to make grants to shuttered venue operators (live entertainment, museums, etc.)
  • Provides $25 billion to state and local entities for emergency rental assistance


Find a full section-by-section summary here.

Health care provisions at a glance:

  • Provides a three-month delay of Medicare sequester payment reductions through March 31, 2021
  • $20 billion for production of vaccines and therapeutics
  • $8.75 billion for distribution of vaccines and $3 billion for the national stockpile
  • Ends the practice of surprise medical billing, including air ambulances, and allows for independent arbitration and dispute resolution between the insurer and provider
  • Extends Medicare, Medicaid, and public health programs for three years:
    • Community Health Centers
    • Teaching Health Centers
    • Diabetes Programs
    • Eliminates DSH reductions through 2023
  • Permanently removes Medicare telehealth reimbursement restrictions for behavioral health services
    • Patient must have been seen in-person by provider furnishing telehealth services within the prior six months
  • Requires Medicare Part D plans to incorporate real-time benefit tools that are capable of integrating with electronic prescribing and electronic health record systems of prescribing health care providers for the transmission of formulary and benefit information in real-time to such providers
    • Amends the definition of qualified electronic health record under the Public Health Service Act to say that a qualified EHR “includes, or is capable of including, a real-time benefit tool that conveys patient-specific real-time cost and coverage information with respect to prescription drugs that, with respect to any health information technology certified for electronic prescribing, the technology shall be capable of incorporating the information described…”
  • Requires the HHS Secretary, through the Director of the CDC, to expand, modernize, improve, and sustain applicable public health data systems, including with respect to interoperability and improvement of such systems


Find a summary of all Medicare, Medicaid, and public health provisions here