March 18, 2021

Physician Groups, Others Urge Congressional Action to Prevent Medicare Cuts

On March 12, the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) joined many of its physician and healthcare colleagues in sending a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to act now to prevent significant across-the-board Medicare cuts.

The 2% Medicare sequester reduction has been suspended by Congress as part of both the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. However, the current moratorium is set to expire March 31. H.R. 315, The Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act, introduced by Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL), and David McKinley, P.E. (R-WV), will extend the moratorium for the duration of the public health emergency relating to COVID-19. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Susan Collins (R-ME), have introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

Medicare is also facing an additional 4% across-the-board reduction beginning in 2022 due to statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) requirements resulting from the reconciliation process being used to enact the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Congress has the authority to waive the PAYGO requirements to avoid the 4% reduction.

Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY), has introduced HR 1868, which, if enacted, will extend the sequestration moratorium and waive PAYGO requirements to avert the corresponding Medicare reduction.

On Friday, March 19, the House passed HR 1868, and it will now head to the Senate, where its path remains unclear. The ACR will continue to monitor this issue.