The AAMC joined the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, America’s Essential Hospitals, and other hospital and health system groups in a Nov. 14 letter urging congressional leadership to avert pending cuts to Medicare payments. The letter echoed earlier AAMC efforts urging Congress to eliminate the pending payment cuts included in its year-end letter to congressional leadership [see related story].
The letter urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to prevent the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) sequester from taking effect. As a result of previous legislation enacted by Congress, PAYGO requires an across-the-board 4% cut to Medicare payments. Congress has historically waived these cuts but must pass legislation to do so.
The groups highlighted the myriad challenges facing hospitals as they continue to respond to COVID-19 as well as seasonal flu and respiratory cases and face increased costs due to inflation. “Many of our hospitals and health systems are experiencing their worst financial situation since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” the groups stated.
“Additional Medicare reductions to providers are not sustainable and put at risk our members’ ability to care for their patients,” the letter concluded. If Congress fails to act, the Medicare provider cuts would go into effect in early 2023.