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Health Care Organizations Urge Congress to Extend Financial Lifeline to Providers

February 03, 2021 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: Statement

WASHINGTON - The Federation of American Hospitals, joined by more than 40 leading health care organizations, sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for an extension of the moratorium on the Medicare sequester through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).

“The months ahead will be difficult as our nation launches an unprecedented effort to vaccinate the vast majority of Americans, while we simultaneously face the spread of new and potentially more harmful COVID-19 variants. Health care providers across the spectrum are ready to meet this challenge, but we need congressional help now,” the groups wrote. 

In December 2020, The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was signed into law, providing a three-month extension of the Medicare sequester moratorium as originally enacted in The CARES Act. If Congress does not act before March 31, health care providers face an ill-timed resumption of the two percent cut to their Medicare reimbursement.

The letter advocates for the inclusion of H.R. 315, Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act in Congress’ next COVID-19 relief package. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and David McKinley, P.E. (R-WV), will extend the Medicare sequester moratorium through the PHE.

“We need every resource at our disposal to meet the significant challenges that remain, especially as health care providers continue to endure the strain caused by the pandemic. Now is not the time to cut Medicare reimbursements that are necessary to providing care to our communities,” the letter concludes. 

The letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

It was signed by these health care organizations:

  • Alliance of Community Health Plans
  • Ambulatory Surgery Center Association
  • America’s Essential Hospitals
  • America’s Health Insurance Plans
  • America’s Physician Groups
  • American Academy of Dermatology Association
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • American Association for Homecare
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Gastroenterology
  • American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
  • American College of Physicians 
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Health Care Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Medical Group Association
  • American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Optometric Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Digestive Health Physicians Association
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • Healthcare Leadership Council
  • Infusion Providers Alliance
  • Large Urology Group Practice Association
  • LeadingAge
  • National Association for Behavioral Healthcare
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization / Hospice Action Network  
  • Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society
  • Premier healthcare alliance
  • Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
  • The Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Visiting Nurse Associations of America
  • Vizient, Inc.