Contact Congress to extend sequester moratorium

March 18, 2021

On Friday, the House of Representatives could take up H.R. 1868, which will eliminate through the end of the year the Medicare sequester cuts scheduled to take effect on April 1. WSHA strongly supports this bill, and we urge you to contact your representative and encourage them to do the same.

Last March, Congress suspended the 2 percent Medicare cut through the end of 2020 to help hospitals struggling with financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, Congress extended the moratorium through March 31. A year after that first action, hospitals continue to struggle financially due to the pandemic. According to American Hospital Association data, hospitals lost an estimated total of at least $323 billion through 2020 and forecast losing billions more in 2021. A continuation of the sequester moratorium would give hospitals resources they badly need to continue to serve their communities while treating COVID patients and supporting testing and vaccination efforts.

In addition to the Medicare sequester relief, the bill would make some technical changes to the rural health clinic provisions included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). Specifically, the CAA required that the payment rate for RHCs, including provider-based RHCs certified after Dec. 31, 2019, be capped at $100 per visit beginning April 1, 2021. This rate will increase over time but will remain well below typical provider-based RHC rates. H.R. 1868 would correct the Dec. 31, 2019, certification date to Dec. 31, 2020, as the date by which an RHC would have to submit an application for Medicare enrollment. Visit WSHA’s Contact Your Legislators resources page for details on how to do so.


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