Substantial cuts to Medicare payments for healthcare providers would be prevented during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic under a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

“In December, we worked to delay cuts to Medicare provider payments, and this legislation would extend this period to ensure our hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other health providers won’t be financially burdened as we all recover from the impacts of this pandemic,” Sen. Capito said recently.

The Medicare Sequester Relief Act, S. 748, which Sen. Capito cosponsored on March 17, was introduced this week by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to provide for an extension of the temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration during the COVID-19 public health emergency, according to the congressional record bill summary.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put an enormous burden on West Virginia’s healthcare providers, especially when it comes to managing finances to keep their doors open,” said Sen. Capito, whose office noted that West Virginia hospitals during 2020 lost $400 million, making such savings critical at the current time.

S. 748 is under consideration in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.