Positive News About Medicare Sequestration
The 2% Medicare sequestration cuts have been in place now for eight years. However, they were put on a temporary hold through 2020, just after the Public Health Emergency was declared last year. Again, Congress delayed the sequestration cuts as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 through March 31, 2021.
The Illinois Chiropractic Society (and many other healthcare groups) called our members to action last week, and both the House and the Senate have responded. Although the House bill was more robust, the Senate version is now expected to advance in the House and temporarily delay the sequestration cuts through the end of 2021.
The House of Representatives will take up the bill when they return to Washington on April 13. However, that action will be nearly two weeks after sequestration cuts would begin.
As a result of the anticipated passage, Medicare announced on Tuesday that they “instructed the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2021, for a short period without affecting providers’ cash flow.”
This means that NGS will wait to process April claims until after Congress takes action. This will prevent a reduction in payments due to sequestration. However, they indicate that the timing will not impact when providers will receive their Medicare payments.
What Should Providers Do Now?
The short answer – Bill normally.
The ICS recommends that providers continue to bill Medicare as usual since Medicare is holding the claims until after the 13th (when Congress returns). Reprocessing will not be required.
Your Voice Was Heard
Thank you for reaching out to your Senators last week! They heard the voice of providers and took action. Each time we participate in the political process, elected officials understand more about the vital role chiropractic physicians play in their constituents’ health.