DEC 09, 2021
BREAKING: Senate Votes to Mitigate Physician Fee Cuts for 2022
The U.S. Senate passed legislation today that would substantially reduce the nearly 10% in Medicare physician fee cuts scheduled for 2022. The Senate’s swift action follows the House of Representatives’ passing of the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers From Sequester Cuts Act (S 610) on Tuesday. This relief from the significant cuts would help to stabilize the health care system while we encourage policymakers to consider long-term solutions to the structural problems with Medicare’s broken payment system. President Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law before the weekend.
Published Dec. 7, 2021
The House of Representatives passed legislation today that would substantially reduce the nearly 10% in physician fee cuts that are scheduled for Jan. 1, 2022, under the Medicare program.
The legislation, the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers From Sequester Cuts Act, which now goes to the Senate, would:
- Halt the majority of the 3.75% evaluation and management (E/M) conversion factor cut in 2022 with only a 0.75% cut going into effect Jan. 1
- Phase in reinstatement of the 2% Medicare sequestration cut instead of implementing it Jan. 1.
- No cut would be in effect January — March 2022.
- Only 1% of the cut would be in effect April — June 2022.
- Full reinstatement of the 2% cut would be allowed on July 1.
- Delay for a year the 4% Medicare cut mandated for 2022 under statutory balanced budget rules known as “PAYGO.”
This relief from the significant cuts would help to stabilize the health care system while policymakers consider solutions to the structural problems with Medicare’s broken payment system.
U.S. Reps. Ami Bera, MD, D-Calif., and Larry Bucshon, MD, R-Ind., have been champions for addressing the payments cuts with a congressional sign-on letter and separate House legislation to try to derail the scheduled cuts.
Although it is critical that Congress put forward a fix, any Medicare payment cut to providers during an ongoing pandemic is disappointing. The Academy joined the surgical and medical provider community today in urging Congress to follow up on our earlier requests and take action, including hearings, toward developing a long-term solution for the broken Medicare physician payment system in 2022.
The House-passed legislation will go to the Senate next for a vote. We urge Congress not to leave town this week without acting on a solution that protects physicians.
Join our fight by using the Academy’s advocacy tool
to tell your lawmakers to support the bipartisan effort to stop Medicare payment cuts and protect patients’ timely access to care.