Medicare Sequestration Bill Now Law

The moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration reimbursement cut now lasts until Dec. 31.

President Biden has signed into law legislation that will extend the moratorium on the 2 percent Medicare sequester cuts through Dec. 31.

The news comes after the House of Representatives passed an amended version of H.R. 1868 last night. Originally, H.R. 1868 intended to extend the moratorium until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, but after the Senate approved S.748 at the end of March, the House version had to be amended to expedite the extension.  

Moreover, the industry has been on borrowed time, given that the pause on applying the cuts ran out on March 31. However, CMS announced that it would hold on applying those cuts to claims dated April 1 and beyond in order to let Congress make its decision.

“Keeping the 2 percent sequester cuts on hold for the remainder of the year will help offset the new costs and operational challenges associated with serving patients brought on by the pandemic,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare.

In terms of dollars, the extension should result in approximately $158 million more in Medicare payments to HME suppliers over the rest of the year, on top of the $193 million provided by pausing the cuts from May 2020 through March 2021, according to estimates AAHomecare made using current Medicare data.

Ryan praised HME providers and stakeholders for joining the advocacy push to secure the legislation’s passage.

“This bill is the latest example of the terrific bipartisan Congressional support for healthcare providers over the past year, and these measures have been especially welcome by the HME community,” he said. “I’m especially proud of the thousands of HME suppliers who reached out to their legislators to seek support for extending the sequester moratorium. The volume and passion of your outreach on this issue has been exceptional.”

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