APTA joined representatives from several major health care organizations Tuesday on Capitol Hill to participate in a panel briefing on what the expiration of Medicare extenders will mean to health care for patients and providers in rural areas. The briefing was sponsored by the American Hospital Association and hosted by Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA).
"The therapy cap has a disproportionate impact on older, more chronically ill beneficiaries and those from underserved areas, including rural areas," said APTA Senior Government Affairs Director Mandy Frohlich in remarks delivered Tuesday on behalf of the association. She went on to say "data indicates that there is a higher prevalence of chronic disease in rural areas, and beneficiaries with chronic conditions are most likely to hit the therapy cap."
APTA believes that extension of the therapy cap exceptions process into 2013 is imperative if patients are to continue to have access to the vital care they need. However, the real fix is in reform of the payment system. APTA has begun crafting a reformed payment system for outpatient physical therapy services that it believes will strike a balance between ensuring access to services while improving accuracy of payment.
"The impact of this briefing was significant as more than 100 Hill staff were in attendance," said APTA Vice President of Public Policy, Practice, and Professional Affairs Justin Moore. "APTA represented the more than 40 organizations involved in the therapy cap coalition and continues to serve as the leader on this issue and in the rehabilitation community."