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Neurosurgery Asks Congress to Suspend Medicare Payment Sequester

On Nov. 9, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) joined the Alliance of Specialty Medicine in a multi-specialty letter urging Congress to extend the Medicare sequestration relief provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). Section 3709 provided a temporary suspension of the annual 2% Medicare payment sequester from May 1, 2020, through the end of 2020. This provision of the CARES Act has provided critical relief when the provider community is suffering severe financial losses due to the drastic decreases in non-COVID-19-related and non-emergency care.

Following this action, on Nov. 11, the AANS and the CNS also signed a coalition letter asking Congress to extend the current moratorium on the Medicare sequestration cuts until the end of the public health emergency. The letter notes that the pandemic will continue to place financial stress on our nation's health care system, threatening the viability of those serving the most vulnerable communities. Therefore, Congress should act before the end of the year "to prevent the additional, damaging financial stress that would be caused by the return of the Medicare sequester."