'Congress has no time to waste': Last-ditch bill could avert Medicare cuts

The House on Dec. 7 passed the Supporting Health Care Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Act in a last-ditch attempt to mitigate Medicare cuts to providers next month.

The bill, which has bipartisan support from leadership in the House and Senate, will:

  • Delay the 2 percent Medicare sequester payment reductions to March 31, 2022, followed by a reduction to 1 percent from April 1-June 30.

  • Provide a 3 percent increase to the Medicare physician fee schedule through Dec. 31, 2022.

  • Delay Medicare payment reductions to the clinical laboratory fee schedule to Dec. 31, 2022, to preserve access to testing and lab services.

  • Delay the implementation of the Medicare radiation oncology model to Dec. 31, 2022, to ensure access to cancer care.

"With less than four weeks until Medicare reimbursement rate cuts go into effect, Congress has no time to waste," said Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who in a news release described the bill as a "common-sense solution to stop provider cuts and protect Medicare recipients."

Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., added in the 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 front lines during this pandemic, can continue to keep their doors open."

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Click here to view the entire bill.

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