APTA is highly encouraged by the proposal within President Obama's fiscal year 2014 budget, released yesterday, to exclude therapy services, including physical therapy, along with radiation therapy and advanced imaging from the in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception of the Stark self-referral laws.
The Office of Management and Budget concluded that closing the loophole for these services would provide a savings of $6.1 billion over the standard 10-year budget window, providing further evidence that these self-referral arrangements lead to overutilization of Medicare services and should be addressed by Congress.
On its own for many years and more recently as part of the Alliance for Integrity in Medicare (AIM) coalition of medical specialty, laboratory, radiation oncology, and medical imaging groups, APTA has long advocated for exclusion of physical therapy from the IOAS exception. APTA agrees with the Administration's proposal on physician self-referral and believes this issue should be addressed as part of any fundamental delivery system reform.
APTA and its AIM partners continue to be gravely concerned about the ongoing misapplication of the IOAS exception to the physician self-referral law, believing this loophole results in increased spending, unnecessary use of medical services, and potentially compromised patient choice and care. Studies published by the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and the Government Accountability Office, among others, have highlighted abuses that result from physician self referral. These ongoing issues serve only to erode the integrity of the Medicare program and undermine patient care.
APTA and AIM now strongly urge the 113th Congress to follow the recommendations of the Administration budget and pass legislation to remove physical therapy, advanced diagnostic imaging, anatomic pathology, and radiation therapy from the IOAS exception.
If you missed last week's live event with APTA Vice President of Public Policy, Practice, and Professional Affairs Justin Moore, PT, DPT, you can access the webinar recording online. Discover what Moore revealed about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PL111-148) will impact physical therapy practice, payment, and professional issues; how clinicians, business owners, and rehabilitation managers can successfully navigate changes while working to improve access, lower costs, and reshape the health care workforce; and examine the significant opportunities and challenges physical therapists (PTs) will face in the coming year. The webinare is free to APTA members; nonmembers pay $169.
APTA members and the public have voted for the physical therapist who they feel best keeps active and fit at age 50+ and encourages patients and members of the community to do the same. Patsy Shropshire, PT, age 52, of Dallas, Texas, was chosen the winner. Paul Sullivan, PT, MHS, Cert. MDT, age 52, of Barrington, Illinois, was chosen second place finalist, and Bill Case, PT, SCS, age 56, of Houston, Texas, is the third place finalist. Read their stories.
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