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Congress Passes Legislation to Prevent 2% Medicare Payment Cut

On April 13, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved — by a vote of 384 to 38 — legislation passed by the U.S. Senate in March that would delay the 2% Medicare payment sequester cuts for the rest of the year, extending the three-month moratorium of the sequester that was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260). Endorsed by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the amended bill, H.R. 1868, would forestall cuts totaling $18 billion scheduled to resume April 1. On April 14, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed the bill into law (P.L. 117-7). In late March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it would hold Medicare claims “for a short period” starting April 1 so providers would not face the 2% Medicare sequester cuts before lawmakers had a chance to take final action on the moratorium extension.