Lawmakers rush to avert looming Medicare cuts

“A pandemic is not the time to be cutting access to doctors for patients on Medicare,” Kim Schrier, (D-Wash.) who launched the invoice together with Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), mentioned in a press release. “This legislation will bring some stability to the Medicare payment system to ensure patients can keep seeing their doctors. And doctors, who have been on the frontlines during this pandemic, can continue to keep their doors open.”

Medicare suppliers have been urgent Congress all yr to give you an answer — an effort that went into overdrive after lawmakers failed to embrace any repair within the short-term funding invoice accredited late final week.

Doctors may see Medicare funds decline practically 10 p.c, and hospitals 6 p.c, if Congress doesn’t act by the top of the yr.

Although there’s precedent for dealing with these sorts of extenders early within the new yr, “you obviously want to avoid that,” mentioned Chip Kahn, the chief of the Federation of American Hospitals.

If Congress doesn’t act: There is a 2 p.c Medicare cost minimize created beneath sequestration that was deferred by Congress final yr. There can also be a four p.c minimize to Medicare funds on account of a so-called pay-as-you-go legislation triggered by spending above a sure degree, which was set off by the $1.9 trillion pandemic reduction package deal, H.R. 1319 (117), handed earlier this yr.

Physicians are additionally dealing with the elimination of a 3.75 p.c Medicare cost bump that was prolonged final yr and expires on the finish of the yr.

What’s within the invoice: Among the top-line gadgets within the invoice are a moratorium on the two p.c sequester minimize by means of the top of March. A 1 p.c minimize would then be in impact by means of the top of June. The invoice additionally features a Three p.c Medicare cost increase for docs, somewhat than extending the complete 3.75 p.c bump.

The invoice would delay the four p.c PAYGO minimize till 2023. It additionally consists of delaying Medicare cuts within the laboratory area in addition to the implementation of the Medicare radiation oncology mannequin for one yr.

What’s subsequent: The House Rules Committee is assembly to focus on the stand-alone laws. The House may vote on the invoice as early as Tuesday afternoon, in accordance to two senior congressional aides.

The cash at stake: The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, made up of hospital teams, advised congressional management final week {that a} failure to act would lead to greater than $14 billion in whole Medicare cost cuts to hospitals in 2022.

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