The 2-month fix extending the Medicare cap exceptions process that Congress passed December 23, 2011, will expire February 29. If Congress does not pass legislation before February 29 the therapy cap will go into effect without an exceptions process, and a scheduled 27.4% cut to provider payments under the Medicare physician fee schedule will be implemented March 1.
APTA is working with Congress to protect the physical therapy profession and its patients from these impending cuts. Help strengthen the association's efforts by contacting your legislators today to express your support for full repeal of the sustainable growth rate and the therapy cap. Urge your legislators to—at the very least—pass a 2-year extension of the therapy cap exceptions process as proposed in the original House bill, which saves money and creates a path to reform the therapy benefit in the long term.
In response to comments from APTA and other stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has removed the 100% pre-payment review phase (formerly Phase 1) from the Prepayment Review and Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices demonstration. All modifications that had previously been made to Phase 1 are no longer necessary or applicable as a result of the removal this phase.
Also based on stakeholder feedback, CMS will allow suppliers to perform the administrative function of submitting the prior authorization request on behalf of the physician/treating practitioner.
The Prepayment Review and Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices and the Recovery Audit Prepayment Review demonstrations, which were delayed from their initial January 1 start date, are expected to move forward on or after June 1.
Additional information on these demonstrations can be found on CMS' Web site.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) currently is accepting applications for its Loan Repayment Program (LRP). This program offers health care professionals, including physical therapists, the opportunity to pay off qualified student loans to meet the staffing needs of Indian health programs. The awards are based on the needs of IHS and the available funding. There is an estimated $20 million available for the program during Fiscal Year 2012 to be awarded to more than 450 individuals.
Applications will be accepted and evaluated monthly beginning February 17 until funds are exhausted. For more information or to apply visit the LRP Web site.
APTA continues its public policy priority to include physical therapists in additional student loan repayment initiatives.