As the end of the year approaches, lack of congressional action on legislation to address the 27.4% Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut and extension of therapy cap exceptions process signifies a need to be prepared for potential changes in payment for services on January 1, 2012. While APTA continues to advocate for a compromise before the new year, a resolution remains uncertain.
Though both the House and the Senate have passed legislation containing a fix for the SGR and an extension of the therapy caps exceptions process, the differences among the 2 bills are significant. Congress still has time to resolve these issues before the end of the year. However, APTA recommends that physical therapists be as prepared as possible if the SGR and cap go into effect January 1, 2012. Below are 3 scenarios the profession could face on January 1, 2012:
While a resolution to these potentially devastating issues is still uncertain, now more than ever it remains critical that APTA members stay involved in the fight for the profession and patients.
APTA members are urged to contact their members of Congress to express their support for a package that contains a 2-year extension of the SGR fix and therapy cap exceptions process as outlined in the House bill. Association members also can use APTA's Legislative Action Center to e-mail members of Congress on these pressing issues. In addition, request that your patients contact Congress on this issue through APTA's Patient Action Center. This site is designed to educate patients on the issue and to provide easy access to form e-mails and letters for them to contact Congress.
If you're not currently part of APTA's Grassroots Network, PTeam, sign up today. PTeam will be the main source of information for legislative updates and breaking news on the effort to pass legislation to extend the therapy cap exceptions process and avoid the 27.4% cut.
Update: Legislation passed December 23, 2011, to prevent caps and cuts for two months. Read this article.
The Foundation for Physical Therapy recently awarded Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year to Ryan Marker, PT, DPT, University of Colorado, Denver; Jennifer Reneker, PT, MSPT, Kent State University; and Bahar Shahidi, PT, DPT, University of Colorado, Denver.
The $5,000 Kendall Doctoral Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding physical therapists as they begin their first year of graduate studies toward a postprofessional doctoral degree.
Two physical therapists each have received $40,000 research grants from the Foundation in support of their projects to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions.
The Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant has been awarded to Kristin Archer, PT, DPT, PhD, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, for her 2-year project Cognitive-Behavioral-based Physical Therapy: Improving Surgical Spine Outcomes.
Jill Heathcock, PT, MPT, PhD, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, is the recipient of the Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge Research Grant for her 1-year project Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on Children With Hemiparesis.