MGMA Washington Connection 11/19/20

11/19/2020 11:53 AM | Rebekah Francis (Administrator)

MGMA to Congress: Extend moratorium on sequestration

MGMA sent a letter to Congress urging an extension to the current moratorium on the Medicare sequester through the end of the COVID-19 PHE. Sequestration is a budget enforcement tool that uses the automatic reduction of federal spending to encourage certain budget objectives or goals. Since 2013, it has resulted in a 2% across-the-board cut in Medicare provider payments. The CARES Act, signed into law in March, temporarily suspended sequestration through the end of this year. MGMA has long opposed applying the sequester to Medicare reimbursement and encourages extending the CARES Act moratorium beyond its current expiration date.

MGMA urges delay and reevaluation of AUC program 

MGMA joined more than 20 physician organizations in a letter calling on Congress to statutorily delay the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) program. The AUC program requires professionals ordering certain advanced imaging tests for Medicare patients to consult a qualified Clinical Decision Support Mechanism to establish if the test is appropriate for the patient’s condition. The rendering professional will be required to include the AUC consultation code on their Medicare claim. Although CMS announced it has extended the educational and operations testing period for the AUC program through 2021, the letter calls on Congress to delay the program indefinitely and find a more feasible, less burdensome approach to reward Medicare clinicians who provide high-quality, clinically appropriate care. Access the MGMA member-benefit AUC Toolkit for more information on the program.

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