Medicare Sequestration Cuts Suspended Until End of Year
ASCA advocacy in action
BY STEVE SELDE | APRIL 2021
On April 14, President Joe Biden signed H.R. 1868 into law. This legislation will extend the suspension of 2 percent sequestration cuts to Medicare reimbursement through the end of the year. ASCA and its members’ advocacy played an important role in this bill getting signed into law and ensuring that ASCs will continue to receive this form of financial support.
While previous legislation suspended sequestration cuts to Medicare payments through March 31, 2021, this legislation is retroactive, ensuring that ASCs will receive full reimbursement for claims submitted on and after April 1. As a reminder, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services instructed administrative contractors to hold claims since April 1. While this delayed claim processing, this foresight ensures that claims will not need to be resubmitted or otherwise reconciled.
The Importance of Writing to Your Member of Congress
Since early in the pandemic, the suspension of sequestration cuts was one of ASCA’s federal priorities. This fiscal relief was initially included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in late March 2020 and, subsequently, extended through additional legislation.
Throughout this year, ASCA has advocated for the continued suspension of sequestration cuts. As part of this year’s advocacy, ASCA launched a write-in campaign. During this campaign, ASCA provided a letter template for members to complete and send to their member of Congress. These templates can be customized by the letter writer and provide a quick and easy way for members to communicate with their member of Congress about issues that are important to the ASC community.
Letters are the primary way that constituents communicate with their federal representatives and federal offices have developed a process devoted to tracking and responding to mail, which they still rely on today. Many congressional leaders, like Representative John B. Larson (D-CT), rely on input from constituents that is frequently shared via mail.
“Writing to your federal representative is a powerful way to share your voice,” said Larson, who turns to perspectives of constituents of the First District when assessing policies and issues. “I’ve heard from constituents directly asking for more support for ASCs. The enactment of this legislation to suspend sequestration reductions to Medicare spending helps ASCs, other healthcare providers, and the communities they serve. Throughout this Congress, we will continue our work to ensure that communities in Connecticut and across the country emerge from this pandemic stronger than when it began.”
Larson, a stalwart supporter of the ASC community, has been a lead sponsor of the ASC Quality and Access Act for more than 10 years. He is serving his 12th term in Congress and previously served on the East Hartford Board of Education, the East Hartford Town Council and in the Connecticut State Senate, rising to Senate president pro tempore.
ASCA’s advocacy is fueled by member involvement. ASCA thanks all its members who have contributed to this write-in campaign and other advocacy efforts. Write Steve Selde to learn how you can take an active role in fighting for your ASC on the federal level.