On April 14, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 1868, which extends a suspension of Medicare sequestration, according to The White House.
The move is welcome news to Medicare providers who were preparing for 2% payment cuts if the measure was not approved.
The bill was working through Congress last month in an attempt to avoid an April 1 deadline. But a final vote near the end of March in the Senate included changes that required another vote from the House, which did not have a chance to take up the legislation again until members returned to Washington on Tuesday, April 13. The weeks-long delay in the final vote led CMS to temporarily hold claims for dates of service on or after April 1 to avoid having to adjust payments once the bill was signed by the president.
“This action is a significant gain for home health agencies and hospices as it avoids a payment reduction with a value of an estimated $270 million to home health agencies and $300 million to hospices,” National Association for Home Care and Hospice president Bill Dombi said in a statement following the House vote, but prior to Biden’s signing Wednesday afternoon. “NAHC instigated the creation of a coalition of provider representatives that brought about this advocacy success, as all of health care continues to face the challenges of the pandemic. NAHC members undertook a major grassroots effort that led to thousands on contacts with the Congress in support of the continued suspension of the sequestration.”