Senate Passes Legislation to Halt Medicare Physician Payment Cuts

Dec 10, 2021, 07:59 AM by MSDC Staff
Potential economically devastating payments cuts are delayed for many physicians for the upcoming year.

On Thursday, the Senate passed legislation to halt Medicare physician payment cuts that were scheduled to take effect on January 1. The president is expected to sign the legislation, thus halting major pay cuts for many physicians. The House had passed the same bill on Tuesday.

The bill language includes the following:

  • Extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequester cuts until April 1, 2022
  • Reduce the cuts from 2% to 1% from April through June 30, 2022
  • Stop the 4% statutory PAYGO sequester
  • Increase the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule of 3%
  • Delay for one year cuts to the clinical lab fee schedule
  • Delay the Medicare radiation oncology demonstration

“The wheels of Congress don’t always move quickly, but today they did move toward preserving the viability of physician practices and maintaining access to care," said American Medical Association President Gerald E. Harmon, MD. 

“Potential reductions in Medicare payments for physician services hung over the heads of patients and practices like a sword of Damocles. The Senate action today, following a similar House vote this week, would delay the reductions and give Congress time to work on reforms to address the flaws in the Medicare payment system."