March 30, 2021

MACs to Hold Claims Pending Legislation to Extend Moratorium on 2% Sequester Cuts

In anticipation of Congressional action to extend the delay of the 2% Medicare cuts due to the "sequester" deficit reduction mechanism, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instructed Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to temporarily hold claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2021.

CMS says this will minimize the volume of claims the MACs must reprocess if Congress extends the suspension. The MACs will automatically reprocess any claims paid with the reduction applied if necessary.

The moratorium was originally passed as part of the CARES Act of 2020. That law included a temporary moratorium on the 2% sequestration reduction through the end of 2020. In December 2020, Congress extended the moratorium through March 31, 2021.

The Senate recently passed legislation to extend the suspension through December 31, 2021. The House is expected to pass that bill when it reconvenes in mid-April. As that passage would occur after the March 31 deadline, the 2% payment cut would temporarily return until the legislation is enacted.

The ACR will provide more information on this important matter as it becomes available.