Statement by APTA President on Medicare Physicians Fairness Act of 2009

October 22, 2009

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is disappointed by the Senate's actions yesterday to block S. 1776, the Medicare Physicians Fairness Act of 2009, legislation that would have protected the ability of physical therapists to serve the rehabilitation needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

S. 1776, introduced last week by Sen Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would have eliminated the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and prevented a 21% reduction in Medicare payments to providers set to go into effect January 1, 2010. Though a 1-year fix of the SGR is included in the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform proposal, APTA supports a long-term solution to the flawed formula. Congress should eliminate existing flawed Medicare payment policies that impede patient access to cost-effective outpatient rehabilitation services provided by physical therapists, including repeal of the SGR and the arbitrary outpatient therapy caps on services.

Throughout the health care debate, APTA continues to work with members of Congress to ensure that America's seniors and people with disabilities have access to high quality care rehabilitative services.

APTA President R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD 

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