• In The Trenches

    What Does Congress’ Late Spending Bill Mean for Family Medicine?

    April 2, 2024

    By David Tully
    Vice President, AAFP Government Relations

    Narrowly averting a shutdown, Congress finalized legislation in late March to fund the federal government through 2024. The $1.2 trillion package the president ultimately signed addressed several of the AAFP's advocacy priorities, but its piecemeal assembly was colored by political infighting and presages an especially fraught election year — setting up an  intense environment in which the Academy will engage in the coming months to secure more substantial, secure policy improvements for family physicians.

    US Capitol in snow

    In the most recent episode of the AAFP’s Fighting for Family Medicine podcast, I enjoyed a detailed conversation with Natalie Williams, the Academy’s senior manager of legislative affairs, about how we got there and where we’re going next. I encourage you to listen to it, but I’ll share here our topline wins in the spending bill:

    • The bill eases but does not eliminate the 2024 cut to the Medicare conversion factor (the amount Medicare pays per relative value unit), offsetting 1.72 percentage points, or just better than half of the 3.4% cut that went into effect Jan. 1. The reduction applies to services furnished between March 9 and Dec. 31 of this year.
    • It also extends the physician work Geographic Practice Cost Index floor for Medicare payments through Dec. 31 as well as the advanced APM incentive payments (at 1.88%) through the end of this performance year, to be realized in payment year 2026.
    • And the bill funds the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education and Community Health Center programs through the end of 2024.

    In all of these cases, the Academy continues to push for long-term solutions, including wholesale Medicare payment reform and permanent reauthorization and improved THCGME funding. Listen to the podcast for more and, of course, watch this space. I urge you as well to add your voice to the AAFP’s Speak Out campaigns to accomplish these and related policy aims.

    G2211 Update

    In that same podcast episode, you’ll also hear from Kate Freeman, of the AAFP's Practice Advancement Division, with an overview of new tools the Academy has developed for members to best use Medicare’s G2211 add-on code. You’ll find the tools on this page. She and I also spoke about how the Academy advocates for members with private payers, including our efforts to broaden G2211 beyond Medicare.

    Family Medicine Advocacy Summit

    If you haven’t already signed up to attend the AAFP’s 2024 Family Medicine Advocacy Summit, May 19-21 in Washington, D.C., please consider joining your colleagues for our biggest in-person advocacy event of a pivotal election year. FMAS is where AAFP members assemble with fellow physicians from their chapters to have face-to-face conversations with members of Congress about the Academy’s top legislative priorities. We book the meetings; you bring your expertise and the stories of your practice and patients. In April, you’ll hear more about the event in the Fighting for Family Medicine podcast.


    The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.