November 4, 2020
Providers urge Congress: “Extend sequester cuts”

The CARES Act temporarily suspended Medicare sequestration

Now, providers are asking for further relief through 2021

 

Back in 2012, federal officials passed an across-the-board sequester on Medicare payments under the Sequestration Transparency Act, cutting provider funding by 2% each year. The cuts were designed to save the government an estimated $9 billion over the course of a decade in hopes of mitigating the country’s debt ceiling crisis.

The financial loss has been a difficult—but somewhat manageable—blow to facilities. Now, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, advocates say without immediate sequestration relief, “America’s healthcare safety net could be at further risk of collapse.”

This week, top long-term care providers pleaded for Congress to extend the CARES Act sequester moratorium through 2021, or at least until the pandemic ceases. As operators struggle to stay afloat, the last thing they need are increased financial penalties.
 

The long wait for long-term care

Medicare cut data reported by McKnight’s LTC News

 
 

Relief on the way?

 
In a letter to Congress, industry leaders wrote, “Given that the public health emergency is certain to continue into 2021, it is a safe assumption that America’s health care providers will continue to face the overwhelming financial challenges and pressures associated with higher overhead costs due to personal protective equipment and other safeguards.”

As evidenced in a 2012 report, states most affected by the 2% cuts are among the most populous—including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Long-term care advocates hope officials will continue to postpone sequestration, granting providers a little extra money per applicable Medicare claim.

Here at SpecialtyRx, we’re hoping for a speedy response from lawmakers. Meanwhile, healthcare advocates are also asking state and federal officials to ease up on fines and litigation related to COVID-19 outcomes. As we learn to navigate this deadly virus, it’s important to support facilities in their heroic efforts.

 

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