Biden's $5.8 trillion budget has little for ASCs, independent physicians

The $5.8 trillion budget President Joe Biden proposed March 28 addresses several aspects of healthcare, but does little to support independent ASCs and physicians.

The budget asks for $81.7 billion to prepare for future pandemics, but focuses on developing vaccines, improving clinical trials and expanding domestic manufacturing. It also would set aside hundreds of millions of dollars for addressing mental health, the Cancer Moonshot initiative and medical care for veterans. HHS would get $100 billion more in discretionary funding.

Missing from the budget is funding to support independent practices and surgery centers, many of which are struggling to keep pace with staff salaries, supply price increases and expanding overhead. The independent medical practices play an important role in the healthcare ecosystem as high quality, low cost sites of service. But many have had to join hospital systems or corporate chains in the last two years, or take on private equity investors, to stay afloat.

The budget does provide some benefits for small businesses, including increasing Small Business Administration programs by around $9.5 billion. The bill would also provide $110 million to the Minority Business Development Agency to boost minority-owned businesses, and funding to train the next generation of the American workforce.


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