The AHA and seven other national organizations representing hospitals and health systems today urged congressional leaders to act before yearend to extend the moratorium on Medicare sequester cuts and prevent the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go sequester from taking effect. The moratorium on the Medicare sequester cuts is currently scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. If these cuts are not delayed into 2022, hospitals and health systems would experience a reduction of $4.7 billion in fee-for-service Medicare payments. In addition, a statutory PAYGO sequester requires that mandatory spending and revenue legislation not increase the federal budget; unless it is waived, this would result in an additional $9.4 billion in cuts to hospital providers in fee-for-service Medicare next year.
“While some parts of the country are recovering from the most recent increase in hospitalizations associated with the COVID-19 delta variant, others are still facing ongoing challenges, either due to a high number of COVID-19 cases or an increase in treating severely ill patients whose care was delayed during the pandemic,” the organizations wrote. “Our members will continue to face fiscal challenges into 2022, including: higher costs related to workforce, drugs and supplies; expenses for pandemic preparedness and treating more medically complex patients; and the delay in the return of regular operations due to the postponement of routine care. Additional Medicare reductions to providers are not sustainable and put our members’ ability to care for their patients at risk.”