WASHINGTON – Republican U.S. Senators John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Kevin Cramer, and Susan Collins introduced legislation to prevent planned physician payment cuts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) that were set to begin January 1, 2021.
The “Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020” would ensure payments to medical physicians are maintained at current levels for the next two years.
“Cutting physician payments is the last thing CMS should be doing when we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Patients deserve access to quality and affordable health care. This legislation is necessary to achieve this,” Boozman said.
“These reimbursement cuts primarily fall on the backs of health care providers across non-primary care specialties – from radiology to physical therapy to orthopedic surgery. If these ill-timed payment cuts go into effect, they could have a devastating effect on providers, health care practices, and, most important, patient access to care,” said Collins.“Our legislation would halt these payments cuts from going into effect at the start of the New Year, helping to ensure that we do not further burden our health care system that is already struggling due to the pandemic.”
“Many frontline health care providers face substantial Medicare reimbursement cuts beginning on January 1st. Our health care system is already under tremendous strain due to the pandemic. Our bill stops these cuts from taking effect and imposing any further burden on our providers during this public health emergency,” Cotton said.
Just last week, Boozman led a bipartisan group of senators that called on Senate leadership to stop the scheduled cuts.