President Signs Bill That Will Stop Cuts to Medicare Physician Payments

December 11, 2021
Policy Snapshot

Last week, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, S.610—the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act—averting 4-5% cuts to Medicare payments for nursing home visits.

The bill extends the 2% Medicare sequester moratorium through March 31, 2022, and adjusts the sequester from 2% down to 1% between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022. It will also increase Medicare physician payments by increasing the physician fee schedule conversion factor by 3% for calendar year 2022. In order to eliminate the potential for an additional 4% Medicare sequester in 2022 due to statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirements, the bill also contains a PAYGO scorecard waiver that will take effect after adjournment of the first session of the 117th Congress.

Other provisions in the bill delay payment cuts and private payer data reporting requirements for certain hospital laboratories and set up a fast-track process in the Senate to allow for a vote to increase the debt limit.

The Society is further analyzing exactly how this bill will affect nursing home codes payments and will update members soon.