Hospital groups urge Congress to further delay 2% Medicare payment cut

Four major hospital groups are urging Congress to further delay a 2 percent federally mandated Medicare payment cut.

The federal payment cut, created in 2011 by the Budget Control Act, is intended to cut 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 American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Health Care Association and National Association for Home Care & Hospice penned the letter, arguing that relief from the 2 percent Medicare sequester will help health systems respond to the pandemic. 

The hospital groups said they are concerned that the persistently high COVID-19 rates will continue to stress the entire healthcare system and providers will continue to face "financial challenges and pressures associated with higher overhead costs due to personal protective equipment and other safeguards, lost revenue due to delayed elective procedures and/or forgone routine visits, and hazard pay to staff."

Congress delayed the 2 percent cut in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act through the end of this year.

The groups now are calling on Congress to pass legislation that will delay the cuts until the public health emergency ends. 

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