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Congress acts to avert Medicare payment cuts

Last evening, April 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on a 384-38 vote to continue a moratorium on 2% sequester reductions in Medicare payments until December 31 of this year. The sequester cuts were to have gone into effect on April 1. But last week - in anticipation of likely Congressional action to extend the 2% sequester reduction suspension - the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instructed Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1. 

Today, April 14, President Biden signed the measure into law.

CMS was expected to advise MACs to renew payments to Medicare providers and suppliers when this legislation is signed into law.

Congress had earlier delayed the sequester reductions that would have begun on January 1 until March 31.

The bill continues to exempt Medicare from sequestration until December 31, 2021. (Sequestration is a process of automatic, usually across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently cancelled to enforce specific budget policy goals.)


health care & life sciences, medicare, cms