A bill that will delay a 2% across-the-board cut to Medicare rates through the rest of the year — and stop billions in payment cuts for providers — was signed into law by President Joe Biden Wednesday. 

President Joe Biden

The House on Tuesday voted to pass the measure to push the schedule cuts back. It comes about two weeks after Senators approved the proposal before adjourning for a recess.

The moratorium on the 2% sequestration of Medicare payments, which was put in place and then extended during earlier COVID-19 relief packages, expired on March 31.

The 2% sequestration reduction to Medicare payments has been in place since 2013. A 2013 analysis found that it would reduce payments to skilled nursing facilities by $9 billion over 10 years.

Long-term care and other providers have warned that providers could face collapse without ongoing sequestration relief during the coronavirus public health crisis. 

“The bottom line is this: Cuts to Medicare payments will harm providers. The pandemic is not over; providers continue to bear COVID-related expenses for personal protective equipment, regular testing and increased staffing needs for instance,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a statement.

She added that the measure to “delay across-the-board cuts to Medicare payments is a step in the right direction to ensure the continuation of care that older adults and their families rely on.”