4 main healthcare associations referred to as on lawmakers Wednesday to carry off on Medicare sequester cuts via 2021, or at the very least the top of the COVID-19 public well being emergency.
The CARES Act suspended the deliberate 2% Medicare fee reduce via the top of 2020, however the American Hospital Affiliation, American Medical Affiliation, American Well being Care Affiliation and the Nationwide Affiliation for Residence Care and Hospice mentioned the continued stress of COVID-19 deserves an extended moratorium.
“Clearly Congress acknowledged the significance of this reduction during the (public well being emergency),” the teams wrote. “Provided that the PHE is definite to proceed into 2021, it’s a secure assumption that America’s healthcare suppliers will proceed to face the overwhelming monetary challenges and pressures related to greater overhead prices resulting from private protecting tools and different safeguards, misplaced income resulting from delayed elective procedures and/or forgone routine visits, and hazard pay to workers.”
Suppliers have skilled various monetary impacts from COVID-19. Whereas HCA returned $6 billion in CARES Act funds and accelerated funds early, practically 60% of New Jersey suppliers reported damaging internet margins for the primary half of the yr. In June, AHA predicted hospitals and well being techniques would lose $320 billion because of the pandemic in 2020.
Greater than $200 billion in monetary losses occurred from March to June. However the AHA expects hospitals to lose one other $120 billion—about $20 billion monthly—via year-end, largely pushed by decrease affected person volumes.
The associations maintained the moratorium would significantly assist their members, calling it a “much-needed reprieve.”
“This reduction helped to enhance what was, and continues to be, the comparatively dire monetary outlook for a lot of of our members,” they wrote. “In some circumstances, this 2% reduce will successfully negate the Medicare inflation adjustment healthcare suppliers rely on and would in any other case obtain in 2021.”