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FY 2022 Appropriations Bill Extends Medicare Telehealth Provisions; Allows Sequester Phase In to Begin

FY2022 Bill extends Medicare Telehealth Provisions

President Biden signed a $1.5 trillion spending bill into law that funds the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year (FY) 2022 through September 30th . The legislation includes increased funding for CMS, increasing the agency’s appropriation by $50 million to $4 billion from the last fiscal year and notable changes in health policy.

In addition to the $4 billion in funding to CMS, the omnibus rule included $108.3 billion in funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an increase of $11.3 billion from FY2021.

In addition to funding the federal government, the bill also proactively extended certain Medicare telehealth coverage policies for five months after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and HHS will be required to study the impacts of the COVID-19 related telehealth rules and produce a report to Congress on its findings and recommendations by June of 2023. HHS will also be responsible for reporting information on Medicare telehealth claims on the CMS website every quarter.

The omnibus bill did not include the additional $22.5 billion COVID-19 relief funding requested by the Biden Administration, or extend the moratorium on Medicare sequester cuts through the end of the year. As a result, Medicare sequester cuts will begin phasing back in on April 1 st . Medicare will withhold one percent (instead of the full two percent) in sequestration reductions beginning on April 1 st . The full two percent reduction will begin in July.

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