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  • March 8, 2013

2% Medicare Cuts Effective April 1
On Friday, March 8 CMS published a listserv message regarding the pending sequestration cuts and their impact on Medicare Part A and Part B fee-for-service (FFS) payments. CMS reports that Medicare FFS claims with dates-of-service or dates-of-discharge on or after April 1, 2013, will incur a 2% reduction in Medicare payment. The 2% reduction in payment will also apply to claims for durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies, including claims under the DME Competitive Bidding Program when the date-of-service, or the start date for rental equipment or multi-day supplies, is on or after April 1, 2013.

CMS explains that the 2% claims payment adjustment will be applied to all claims after determining coinsurance, any applicable deductible, and any applicable Medicare Secondary Payment adjustments. Therefore, beneficiary payments for deductibles and coinsurance are not subject to the 2% payment reduction.

The sequestration cuts are part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which requires mandatory across-the-board reductions in Federal spending. CMS states that they remain hopeful that Congress will take action to eliminate the mandatory payment reductions.

If you haven’t already contacted your Legislators and their health staff and completed the COA sequestration survey please take a few minutes to do so today! COA worked with ASCO, AmerisourceBergen/ION and McKesson/US Oncology to create one common message and talking points that you may use to send to your Legislators health staff.

COA has made it extremely easy to take action on this issue by posting talking points, contact information for your Senator’s and Representative’s health aides as well as a template letter that you can customize for your patients explaining the sequester cuts and the effect they will have on your practice.

Access all of these resources on the COA Website at:

Finally, please take a few minutes to complete COA’s sequestration survey by close of the day on Monday, March 11, 2013. This is a very brief 8-question survey and your participation will provide valuable input that will be useful in the effort to stop the sequester cuts to cancer care.

The survey link is: