Jon Tester

12/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2021 19:17

Tester Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Stop Medicare Physician Payment Cuts

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent certain Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' planned physician payment cuts scheduled to begin January 1, 2022 and maintain current payment levels through next year.

"Montana's health care workers have continued to work tirelessly to keep our state safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and cutting their pay is not an option," said Tester. "We're already facing a shortage of frontline physicians, particularly in rural areas, and slashing these payments would have disastrous effects on the health and well-being of families in the Treasure State."

Tester's bipartisan legislation was introduced with Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS).

Last year, through the Fiscal Year 2021 Consolidated Appropriations and COVID-19 Relief and Response Act, Tester secured a 3.75 percent payment increase for Medicare health care providers for one year. This legislation would extend the 3.75 percent payment increase through the end of 2022.

Tester has continued to advocate for Montana's health care providers through the COVID-19 pandemic, and earlier this month announced $67,593,771.06 in Department of Health and Human Services fundingfor Montana rural health care providers and suppliers through the American Rescue Plan to help mitigate the high cost of health care caused by the pandemic. He also secured $2.5 million in funding for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to help vaccinate eligible children through last December's government funding and COVID stimulus bill, and more than $1 million in Coronavirus Assistance Recovery and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act fundingto support health care workings in the Billings and Missoula areas. Additionally, he secured fundingfor Montana telehealth programs in the CARES Act, and continues to fight for those provisions expanding access to telehealth to be made permanent.