New House Bill Aims to Save COVID-19 Medicare Relief

H.R. 8840 would continue pausing 2% Medicare sequester cuts through the duration of the public health emergency. The curs are currently slated to resume Dec. 31.

Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and David McKinley (R-W.V.) have launched House legislation that would extend a suspension of fee-for-service payment cuts, which is currently slated to expire on Dec. 31.

Among its various provisions, the CARES Act currently suspends a longstanding 2 percent sequestration cut on Medicare fee-for-service payment. The 2 percent cut has been in effect since the 2012 Sequestration Transparency Act, as part of a deal to get out from under the debt ceiling at the time.

The CARES Act put a pause on those cuts to help DMEPOS suppliers and other Medicare providers and suppliers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, the suspension only impacts claims with dates of service between May 1 and Dec. 31.

Reps. Schneider’s and McKinley’s Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act (H.R. 8840) would extend the suspension of the 2 percent sequestration cuts for the length of the public health emergency.

The new legislation comes after a coalition of 34 medical groups, including The American Association for Homecare, urged Senate and House leadership to extend the suspension.

“Now that Congress has responded with legislation, we urge HME suppliers and stakeholders to contact their legislators in support of H.R. 8840, The Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act,” a statement from AAHomecare read. “Please contact your legislators and ask that they urge House and Senate leaders to include this policy in a legislative package before the end of the year.”

More information is available through AAHomecare’s Action Center.

 

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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