Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the passage of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prevent Medicare payment cuts for hospitals, doctors, labs, and other health care providers during the ongoing global pandemic.
"Health care providers continue to work tirelessly to keep our families safe and healthy during this pandemic," said Congressman Kildee. "Reducing Medicare payments for physicians and hospitals as we continue to battle COVID-19 could strain our health care system and diminish health care professionals' ability to provide the best care for their patients. I remain committed to working to ensure mid-Michigan's health care providers have the resources they need to combat the pandemic."
Every year, Medicare is required to make cuts to payment programs for Medicare providers. Last year, as health care providers grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress paused the planned cuts through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While health care providers are still burdened by the pandemic, the annual Medicare payment cuts for hospitals, doctors, labs, and other health care providers cuts are currently set to go into effect on January 1, 2022 unless Congress acts.
Fortunately, the bill, supported by Congressman Kildee and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, provides for a one-year 3% increase in Medicare physician pay to support physicians in adjusting to changes in Medicare payment programs, ensuring mid-Michiganders continue to have access to the high-quality health care they need.
"Physicians across the country are grateful for the work in the House and Senate to avoid devastating Medicare cuts in a year where physicians are taking care of very sick patients and dealing with the financial impact of COVID-19 on their practices," said Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, a Flint physician, Immediate Past President of the Michigan State Medical Society, and a Chair of the Board of the American Medical Association. "The impending cuts are a combination of several smaller cuts that add up to a greater than 9% reduction in Medicare payments for services. I am very thankful for Congressman Kildee's proactive work to avoid these cuts at a time when our country can ill afford further destabilization of its health care infrastructure."
In October, Congressman Kildee sent a bipartisan letter, joined by over 245 Members of Congress, urging House Leadership to address these looming Medicare payment cuts to health care providers to ensure patients continue to have access to care.