Both chambers of the United States Congress recently passed separate bills to extend the temporary moratorium on the 2% sequestration cut to Medicare reimbursement. The moratorium is currently set to expire on March 31, 2021, and both bills would extend the moratorium until December 31, 2021. However, since the House and Senate legislation differ, further action is needed before the extension becomes law.
ASCO in Action provides the latest news and analysis related to critical policy issues affecting the cancer community, updates on the Association for Clinical Oncology’s ongoing advocacy efforts, and opportunities for members and others in the cancer care community to take action.
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On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package into law. The legislation, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that would mean new monthly payments to many parents.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will hold physicians harmless from Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) penalties due to the significant disruptions the COVID-19 public health emergency placed on physician practices’ performance in 2020.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Road to Recovery Report: Learning from the COVID-19 Experience to Improve Clinical Research and Cancer Care, among other recommendations, calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a special enrollment period on the federal health insurance exchange, abandon plans that limit access to healthcare, and enact policies that enhance access to care for patients with cancer. ASCO applauds the Biden administration for its recent actions supporting policies that aim to promote and protect access to high-quality, equitable cancer care, as outlined in the “Road to Recovery” report.
On January 7, 2021, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration for an additional 90 days, effective January 21.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a revised Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Conversion Factor (CF) of $34.8931 for 2021. This represents a 3.3% reduction from the 2020 CF of $36.0869. CMS updated the CF as a result of a provision in the $1.4 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R 133), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020.