Ask your members of Congress to stop the 2% sequestration cuts and cosponsor H.R. 6020/S. 3314, the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2021, which would more fully address cuts related to budget neutrality. Addressing impending Medicare Part B payment cuts to audiology and speech-language pathology services will protect beneficiary access to critical hearing, balance, speech, language, swallowing, and cognitive care.
Professionals: Email your members of Congress today!
Download the Issue Brief [PDF] to learn more.
Payments for Medicare Part B outpatient audiology and speech-language pathology services are scheduled to be reduced in 2022 due to sequestration and to offset increases for certain primary care related services finalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2020. In December 2021, Congress passed legislation that partially mitigates these payment cuts for 2022. ASHA continues to advocate for a solution that fully addresses these cuts next year and supports a long-term solution to these persistent threats to Medicare reimbursement.
- In the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, CMS implemented changes to office/outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) procedure codes that resulted in payment increases for primary care services beginning in 2021.
- Those increases would have resulted in significant cuts to reimbursement for audiology (6%) and speech-language pathology (9%) services because CMS, by law, must ensure the total values for all procedure codes paid under the MPFS remain budget neutral.
- ASHA and other impacted stakeholders supported efforts by Congress to significantly reduce those cuts in 2021. However, these cuts were slated to return in 2022.
- In October 2021, 247 members of the House of Representatives wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them to address looming Medicare payment cuts to health care providers that will further strain patient access to care.
- In December 2021, Congress passed legislation to partially reduce Medicare payment cuts in 2022, leaving a portion of the budget neutrality and sequestration cuts in place.
- Audiologists and SLPs who rely on reimbursement from Medicare cannot withstand the losses in revenue from reduced Medicare payments on top of COVID-19 related financial losses.