March 2, 2021
The Honorable Chuck Schumer The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader Republican Leader
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Leaders Schumer and McConnell,
America’s front line health care providers continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed unprecedented stress on the entire health care system. Our providers are working tirelessly to deliver the best care for patients, families and communities, and we urge you to include in legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic additional funding to counter sequester cuts to Medicare providers. This funding would allow for continued support of providers' COVID-19-related lost revenues, as well as additional expenses due to activities such as purchasing supplies and equipment, standing up emergency testing centers and the construction and retrofitting of facilities. As you know, the Medicare sequester relief is scheduled to end March 31.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has persisted in parts of the country, infecting more than 28 million people and resulting in more than 500,000 deaths, America’s health care providers continue to face historic challenges. Physicians, nurses, hospitals and health systems, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospices have incurred significant expenses to treat the sick. At the same time, they are experiencing historic financial losses due to the decrease in utilization of inpatient and outpatient services.
Through the relief from sequester cuts, Congress has provided critical relief to health care providers during the public health emergency. However, America’s health care providers continue to face overwhelming financial challenges and pressures associated with higher overhead costs due to personal protective equipment and other safeguards, lost revenue due to delayed non-emergent procedures, bonus pay to staff, and many other challenges.
We are grateful that Congress has provided much-needed assistance to health care providers. This relief helped to improve what was, and continues to be, the relatively dire financial outlook for many of our members. Without future relief to providers, America’s health care system could be at risk of collapse. As such, we respectfully ask that the Senate include an extension of the moratorium on the Medicare sequester cuts in COVID legislation so that we can continue to care for patients, families and communities.
We thank you for your ongoing leadership as we battle COVID-19 together.
American Hospital Association
American Medical Association
American Health Care Association
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Association for Clinical Oncology