AHA asks Congress to stop looming Medicare cuts

The American Hospital Affiliation is urging Congress to cease cuts to Medicare earlier than they take impact subsequent 12 months, citing the unsure trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and attainable variants.

“Now isn’t the time for reductions in Medicare funds to suppliers,” Stacey Hughes, govt vice chairman of AHA wrote in a letter to Congressional management.

With out Congressional motion, Medicare will face a 4% lower triggered by the COVID-19 relief bill that handed earlier this 12 months.

As a result of the legislation raised the deficit, Medicare and different packages will probably be topic to spending cuts below the Pay-As-You-Go Act handed by Congress in 2010.

Congress is likely to waive PAYGO, avoiding the cuts, however will probably solely accomplish that on the final second, placing suppliers on edge.

The 4% lower, if it took impact, would cut back Medicare spending by $36 billion subsequent 12 months, in accordance with the Congressional Price range Workplace.

“Congress at all times has acted to waive the reductions, or “wipe the PAYGO scorecard clear,” prohibiting the enacted deficit results of laws from inflicting a PAYGO sequester of Medicare or different federal spending packages. We urge Congress to once more stop these cuts,” Hughes wrote.

The AHA can also be asking Congress to increase a pause of the two% across-the-board supplier reimbursement cuts which have been in impact since 2013 as a technique to scale back spending.

The so-called sequester was paused by Congress in the course of the pandemic in recognition of the monetary difficulties COVID-19 posed to suppliers.

These cuts are scheduled to renew Jan. 1. It isn’t but clear if Congress will take into account one other extension of the sequester moratorium.

The AHA mentioned resuming the two % discount would value hospitals $4.7 billion in 2022.

Supporters of sequester observe its function is to cut back Medicare spending, and suppliers have lived with the cuts for practically a decade now.

Suppliers have additionally acquired billions of {dollars} in federal assist to assist them climate the pandemic.

Some giant suppliers like HCA Healthcare seem to have bounced back from COVID-19, boasting billions of {dollars} in income whereas smaller hospitals and doctor practices proceed to face monetary difficulties.

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