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Congress passes act that would prevent 2 kinds of Medicare payment cuts to EMS agencies

As a result, ambulance services will wind up with a 5.1% raise in 2022, according to Page, Wolfberg & Wirth


Photo/Tribune News Service

By Leila Merrill

WASHINGTON — Congress has likely prevented two Medicare payment cuts that would have affected EMS agencies and were set to begin on Jan. 1.

Because of this action and since the 2022 Ambulance Inflation Factor is 5.1%, ambulance services will receive a 5.1% raise in 2022, according to Page, Wolfberg & Wirth.

The Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act passed in the Senate on Friday after being approved in the House last Tuesday, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law soon.

The bill will extend the COVID-19 related temporary deferral of a 2% sequestration amount for Medicare providers and suppliers. The bill also delays the implementation of a 4% reduction in Medicare reimbursement that was going to take place.

The bill removes the statutory 4% pay-as-you-go cut, which resulted from the passage of the American Rescue Act, according to the California Medical Association. The measure also prevents additional such cuts through the end of 2022.

The bill extends the freeze on the sequestration amount until March 31 and sets up sequestration at 1% from April 1 to June 30. Under the bill, the sequestration amount for the first six months of 2030 will be 2.25%, and for the second six months of that year, 3%.

In October, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the 2022 Ambulance Inflation Factor is 5.1%. If sequestration and PAYGO were to take effect, ambulance services would be seeing a cut of 0.9% for 2022.