Congress passed the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act (S. 610) — legislation that would avert several scheduled Jan. 1 Medicare provider payment cuts. President Biden is expected to sign the legislation.
The bill would extend the 2% Medicare sequester moratorium through March 31, 2022, and adjust the sequester to 1% between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022. It would also increase Medicare physician payments by increasing the physician fee schedule conversion factor by 3% for calendar year 2022. In order to eliminate the potential for an additional 4% Medicare sequester in 2022 due to statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirements, S. 610 also contains a PAYGO scorecard waiver that would take effect after adjournment of the first session of the 117th Congress.
The AAMC urged Congress to eliminate these cuts in a December 2 statement [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 3] and upon release of the legislation, issued a statement supporting the bill and urging Congress to pass the legislation quickly. “Alleviating these devastating cuts is crucial to ensuring that the nation’s teaching hospitals and faculty physicians can continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting access to care for the patients and communities they serve, and meeting the nation’s health needs,” the AAMC stated.