On Tuesday, December 7, the House passed the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act by a vote of 222-212. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Representatives Kim Schrier, MD (WA-08) and Steven Horsford (NV-04) with the goal of preventing the several scheduled cuts to Medicare payment set to take effect January 1, 2022. In summary, this legislation contains provisions that will reduce the cuts to payment from an anticipated 10% to less than 1% for the first three months of 2022 and less than 3% for the majority of the year. Key elements of the legislation include:
- The 2% Medicare sequester will be delayed for three months and then will be phased starting in April.
- A one-year 3% increase will be made to the physician fee schedule, which will help to ease the 3.73% cut to the conversion factor scheduled to go into effect due to budget neutrality.
- The 4% PAYGO cut will be prevented from taking effect in 2022.
This bill now heads to the Senate. AAPM&R supports this legislation as an option for protecting physician payment in 2022. We continue to advocate for swift resolution as January 1 approaches. Further, we urge all members to reach out to your Senators via our grassroots campaign via our grassroots campaign on the Member Action Center. Congress is moving quickly as we are reaching the end of the year. We will keep members updated on this important issue as more information becomes available.