• Friday, January 10, 2014RSS Feed

    End to Therapy Cap Still on the Table

    Though the legislative process is far from over, a possible end to the therapy cap is still very much in play now that Congress has reconvened.

    This week, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing focused on Medicare extenders, including the therapy cap that places an annual financial limit on outpatient therapy. The good news: several members of the committee voiced support for an end to the cap being included with a bill to permanently end the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR), with Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Rep Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) stating flatly that the therapy cap "made no sense when it was first passed several years ago, and guess what? It still makes no sense." A video of the hearing, beginning with comments from Rep Burgess, is available on YouTube.

    In December 2013, Congress voted for a 3-month SGR "patch" and an extension of the therapy cap exceptions process to give legislators time to work out the details of a proposal that could permanently end both. While proposals to end the SGR are included in both Senate and House versions of the legislation, provisions to permanently reform the Medicare extenders are included only in the Senate bill. APTA has created a webpage that explains the SGR reform proposals on the table. Because these issues are still awaiting final votes, grassroots efforts need to continue.

    APTA staff is monitoring the progress of these issues on Capitol Hill and evaluating how APTA members and supporters can most effectively make their voices heard as the discussions evolve. In the meantime, APTA encourages members to visit the Legislative Action Center to stay engaged.

    APTA will continue to work members of Congress to ensure the final reform package includes policies that reflect the interests of physical therapists and physical therapists assistants, and the patients and clients we serve. Members interested in joining APTA's advocacy efforts to reform SGR and repeal the therapy cap can sign up for PTeam.


    Comments

    That is great news. The next step will be getting the MPPR back to 2012 levels. The adjustment has been crippling.
    Posted by Scott Lindsay on 1/10/2014 5:12 PM
    I long for the day when Congress is respectful of our profession and refers to us by our preferred collective title: physical therapists. I would like APTA to convey to Congress that their continued  use of second-class language (e.g. Medicare extenders, Mid-level staff , ancillary or auxillary personnel,  ineligibles, and trainers) is patronizing to us and confusing to the public, especially in Direct Access States. Some day soon I hope to see those with DPT degrees simply called physical therapy doctors and honored as such. Dr. Lise McCarthy, PT, DPT, GCS
    Posted by Lise McCarthy -> >JVaDJ on 1/10/2014 5:47 PM
    Is there a link on the APTA Facebook page for patients to voice their support? Social Media outlets DO get attention.....
    Posted by Olivia Jean Box on 1/10/2014 7:11 PM
    Keep up the push. I have a 1000 PT and PTA as well as a 1000 ON and COTA I will send this communication out to as well as several contracted skilled and assisted living Contracts The Weston Group services. As we all know these seniors are mostly shut ins with multiple condition and need extra to me optimal independent. ANYTHING THE WESTON GROUP INC CAN HELP WITH PLEASE CONTACT US.
    Posted by Randall Weston on 1/11/2014 11:25 AM
    curious as to why OT has better payment in many instances, seem to be doing many things PT's "were"doing, and have less requirements placed on them as a profession. according to the CY 2014 HHC structure?? Also speech language? Did I read something incorrect? It has all become so confusing to be a practitioner :(
    Posted by Anita Alter-King -> >HX`= on 1/13/2014 8:20 AM
    Olivia, the best way for members and nonmembers to get involved is by emailing their legislators. You can access several resources on our Therapy Cap webpage at http://www.apta.org/FederalIssues/TherapyCap/ From there you can access pre-written letters for members at the Legislative Action Center and for nonmembers/patients at the Patient Action Center. You can also take action from the APTA Action app—-if you haven’t downloaded the app, simply search for “APTA Action” in the iTunes or Google Play stores. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the PTeam to stay up-to-date on the latest therapy cap and SGR news at www.apta.org/PTeam
    Posted by News Now on 1/13/2014 10:39 AM
    As therapists, it is our responsibility to be advocates on behalf of our patients and our profession as we communicate the value of medically necessary rehabilitative care. News about the short-term extension to the Part B Therapy Caps Exceptions Process is an important first step, but it is critical that we all stay engaged to influence real reforms in a permanent SGR fix as well as any forthcoming legislative and regulatory threats to the provision and payment of therapy services. It is long overdue for legislators and regulators to recognize the value of physical therapy, not only in enabling recovery and independence for our patients, but in preventing costly negative health outcomes.
    Posted by Barb Wallace on 1/13/2014 4:02 PM
    Barb Wallace articulates beautifully our collective responsibility as PTs to get involved. We cannot just expect APTA to take care of this issue for us. We all need to write our legislators. There is power in numbers.
    Posted by Beth Kolbe on 1/14/2014 3:54 PM
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