Bill delaying Medicare payment cuts heads to Biden after House vote

The House passed legislation April 13 that will delay $18 billion in Medicare payment cuts through the end of the year.

The bill prevents a 2 percent federally mandated Medicare sequester cut from taking place. The federal payment cut was created in 2011 by the Budget Control Act to reduce federal spending by more than a trillion dollars by fiscal year 2021. The cuts target all industries, but Medicare spending specifically is subject to a cut of 2 percent annually. 

The bill, which the Senate passed March 25, heads to President Joe Biden for his signature.

Congress initially delayed the 2 percent payment cut in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act through the end of 2020 and later extended the moratorium on the payment cut to March 31. 

Although the cuts were slated to begin April 1, CMS has instructed Medicare administrative contractors to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, pending the House vote on the bill and a signature from President Biden.

The passage of the bill by both chambers of Congress comes after providers urged Congress to further extend the moratorium on the payment cuts. Hospital groups argued the cuts would be "devastating" to providers, who are still responding to the pandemic. 

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