Thursday, December 22, 2011 December 31 Deadline Approaches: Caps and Cuts Uncertain 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: Scenario 1 -- Congress passes legislation before the end of the year stopping the 27.4% cut, extending the therapy cap exceptions process, and extending the Geographical Practice Cost Indices (GPCIs) work floor. Scenario 2 -- Congress does not pass legislation stopping the 27.4% cut and extending the GPCI work floor by the end of the year. APTA has prepared a FAQ document addressing this scenario. Scenario 3 -- Congress does not extend the therapy cap exceptions process before the end of the year. Information about this scenario can be found in this FAQ document. 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.