Senate Advances Legislation to Suspend Medicare Payment Cuts
On March 25, the Senate passed legislation (H.R. 1868), by a vote of 90-2, to extend the 2% Medicare sequester moratorium set to expire on April 1. The amended bill provides a nine-month extension of the moratorium through December 31. The House of Representatives passed a different version of the legislation earlier this month that would both extend the moratorium through the end of the pandemic and eliminate an additional 4% Medicare sequester scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2022. Consequently, the House must pass the Senate language when it returns from its spring recess in mid-April. The House is expected to vote favorably on the revised language, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has indicated that it will suspend processing April claims until the bill is enacted into law.
The AAO-HNS thanks members of our ENT Advocacy network who responded to our “Call to Action” and raised their voice to prevent this arbitrary cut. We now turn our efforts to eliminating the 4% Medicare cut to physicians slated for next year. Stay tuned for additional calls to action on www.entadvocacy.org!
Congress Approves 5th COVID Relief Package
Late evening on December 21 Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill. The package provided economic relief through additional funding for a wide constituency. Specifically, the bill included a new round of stimulus checks, extended and expanded unemployment benefits, funding for small businesses and transportation, COVID-19 vaccine distribution and schools. The legislation also includes a number of provisions addressing healthcare that are of interest to practicing otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons. Detailed here is our preliminary analysis of the bill’s impact on our members and their patients. As further details emerge, we will keep you informed about any changes and their effects.
Medicare Reimbursement Letters