House to vote later this week on bill to delay Medicare sequestration payment cuts

The House is expected to vote later this week on legislation that will extend a moratorium on Medicare payment cuts created under sequestration.

The legislation would impose a nine-month moratorium on a 2% Medicare payment cut imposed under the sequester. It is a major request of provider groups that are hoping for more relief for providers that continue to be financially impacted by COVID-19.

Congress installed the moratorium on the cuts last year as part of the CARES Act as providers faced massive revenue shortfalls due to drops in patient volume.

However, that moratorium is now expected to expire at the end of this month.

Major provider groups such as the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) had wanted to get another extension included in a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed into law last week. The legislation did include $8.5 billion for rural hospitals.

The AHA, the American Health Care Association and several other groups wrote to congressional leaders last week again for help on delaying a reinstallation of the cuts.

“Without future relief to providers, patients’ access to care could be threatened,” the groups said.

The AMA has also asked for help from Congress to prevent another 4% Medicare cut expected to go into effect next year. This legislation does not address those cuts.

The moratorium was included in legislation that creates other technical fixes and sequestration adjustments. It remains unclear whether the legislation would make it through the Senate, as it would likely require Republican support to get 60 votes to break a legislative filibuster.