CMS Delaying April Processing

By Beth Clay

April 1, 2021 (Falls Church, VA) The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has put a hold on processing Medicare claims in anticipation of the freeze to Medicare cuts. Both the House and Senate have now passed legislation that pauses the 2% across the board cut to Medicare for the rest of 2021. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law and freeze Medicare cuts until 2022.

While the delay in processing is challenging, Congresses actions are welcome news. ICA has previously filed comments with CMS opposing the Medicare Sequestration cuts which for chiropractors would be 19% not 2%. The unequal burden to the chiropractic profession is the result of cost shifting measures that CMS implemented for medical doctors that do not apply to doctors of chiropractic due to the remaining discriminatory barriers in the law that continue to deny reimbursement for E&M services to chiropractors. ICA remains active on Capitol Hill in working with legislators to eliminate these barriers throughout the federal system. We as a community now have the rest of the year to seek resolution to these draconian cuts.

The mandatory 2% cuts are known as Medicare Sequestration and originally took effect in 2013 as a part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. It is a prime example of an attempt to do the right thing in one area (creating savings and preventing further debt in Medicare) and having unintended negative consequences in another area – in this instance for hospitals, health providers including doctors of chiropractic. The ICA continues our work to introduce legislation to remove discriminatory barriers to chiropractic access and reimbursement.


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