President Joe Biden Dec. 10 signed legislation to postpone several proposed cuts in Medicare rates recently approved by Congress. The MHA and the American Hospital Association had urged lawmakers to delay the cuts that would have taken effect Jan. 1 due to the pandemic-related financial pressures healthcare providers continue to experience. Provisions in the legislation include:
- Eliminating the 2% Medicare sequester cuts from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2022. The legislation would also reduce the cut to 1% from April 1 to June 30, 2022. Absent future legislation, the 2% cuts will take effect July 1, 2022. The package is being funded by increasing the sequester percentage in 2030.
- Halting the 4% statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) sequester for 2022 and adding them to the “2023 scorecard.” This will require additional advocacy with the Congress in late 2022 to eliminate these cuts again.
- Mitigating the 3.75% payment cut to the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) payments finalized for calendar year 2022 by implementing a one-year 3% increase to the PFS conversion factor.
- Delaying the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedules cuts for one year, from Jan. 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023. The requirements that certain hospital laboratories report their private payer clinical laboratory test codes, payments and volume data are also delayed.
- Delaying implementation of the Radiation Oncology Model finalized in the 2022 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system final rule from Jan. 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023.
Despite the limits on visiting Capitol Hill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHA is continuing its work with the Michigan delegation using virtual connections to protect hospitals and other providers from detrimental payment cuts and other healthcare policies. Members with questions regarding payment implications should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA, while questions regarding advocacy efforts should be addressed to Laura Appel at the MHA.