Congressional leaders today released the Consolidated Appropriations Act, legislation that would fund federal programs through fiscal year 2016. Among other health care provisions, the bill would increase the base Medicare payment rate for Puerto Rico hospitals to the rate for hospitals in other states, and allow Puerto Rico hospitals to qualify for Medicare incentive payments for the adoption and meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology. The legislation also would increase funding from FY 2015 levels by $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health; $300 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; $30 million for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education; $4.5 million for rural health outreach grants; and $2.1 million for rural telehealth. In addition, the bill would increase funding for NURSE Corps loan repayment and scholarship programs by $1.35 million and advanced nursing education by $1 million. With respect to cybersecurity, the bill would establish mechanisms and liability protections for sharing threat information, and require the Health and Human Services secretary to report on and create a task force to improve cybersecurity in the health care field. The bill does not contain corrections to the Bipartisan Budget Act signed into law Nov. 2 to allow off-campus provider-based hospital outpatient departments already under development to qualify as grandfathered facilities. A continuing resolution funding federal programs expires tonight. The House and Senate are expected to extend the CR through Dec. 22 later today and to vote on the omnibus Friday. AHA members received a Special Bulletin with further details.