APTA comments on federal regulations and draft guidance based on the Public Policy Priorities of the American Physical Therapy Association, established every 2 years with extensive input from members. APTA's comments are made on behalf of the membership and the physical therapy profession as a whole. However, there is strength in numbers, and if you or your practice may be impacted by a proposed regulation, you also can share your individual comments with the agency to make your voice heard. We encourage members and nonmembers to provide their individual feedback, as these perspectives are critical to policy development. Keep in mind that your comments do not represent the association; they represent you as an individual physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, or student. See "APTA's Current Regulatory Advocacy Efforts" below to see which issues the association currently is addressing.
There are also issues that fall outside of our public policy priorities, and we encourage physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students to provide their individual feedback on any of those issues that affect you. Browse the proposed regulations and policies listed under "Additional Regulatory Advocacy Opportunities" that may apply to you.
APTA's Current Regulatory Advocacy Efforts
APTA staff are currently reviewing and submitting comment on the following proposed regulations. If you wish to submit individual comments, click the applicable proposal and use the Regulatory Advocacy Template Letter as a guide. Review this timeline to keep current on when rules are expected and consider adding your voice to the strength of the profession.
- CMS "Modernizing and Clarifying the Physician Self-Referral Regulations Proposed Rule": The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposals for revising the regulations that interpret the Medicare physician self-referral law (often called the "Stark law"). The rule, part of CMS' "patients over Paperwork" initiative, would create new, permanent exceptions to the Stark law for value-based arrangements. CMS is also offering additional guidance on frequently misunderstood Stark law issues, and proposes new exceptions for certain arrangements between physicians and other health care providers, such as donations of certain cybersecurity technology that safeguard the integrity of the health care system. Finally, CMS is soliciting comments about whether to require cost-of-care information at the point of a referral for an item or service. APTA will submit comments, and members may submit comments individually by following the link below. Read more about the proposed rule.
Deadline for Comments: December 31, 2019
Review Proposed Rule (.pdf) | Review CMS Fact Sheet
Take Action: Submit Comments - Online Portal | You can use APTA's template letter (.doc) to submit comments
- HHS OIG "Revisions to the Safe Harbors Under the Anti-Kickback Statute and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules Regarding Beneficiary Inducements": The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a proposed rule increasing the number of safe harbors under the federal anti-kickback statute and the civil monetary penalty for beneficiary inducements, noting that these rules have prevented some providers from pursing value-based care. The types of arrangements eligible for the safe harbor are narrowly defined to only include those with substantial or full financial risk as well as care coordination arrangements to improve quality, health outcomes, and efficiency. OIG also proposes new safe harbors related to cybersecurity technology; electronic health records; local transportation; telehealth for in-home dialysis; and certain tools and supports furnished to patients to improve quality, health outcomes, and efficiency. APTA will submit comments, and members may submit comments individually by following the link below. Read more about the proposed rule.
Deadline for Comments: TBD
Review Proposed Rule (.pdf) | Review OIG Fact Sheet (.pdf)
Take Action: Submit Comments - Online Portal| You can use APTA's template letter (.doc) to submit comments
Additional Regulatory Advocacy Opportunities
Below are proposed regulations and guidance that fall outside APTA's public policy priorities but may have an impact on you and your practice. If you wish to submit individual comments to an agency, follow the submission instructions provided in the proposed regulation and use the Regulatory Advocacy Template Letter as a guide.
- The Medicare Administrative Contractor for Jurisdictions 5 and 8, Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS), is proposing to update Local Coverage Determination, L37228: Wound Care. WPS is proposing to clarify the documentation requirements when physical therapists furnish wound care, for both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Review Draft LCD (Please press "accept" at the bottom of the CMS webpage in order to view the draft LCD)
Deadline to submit comments: Sunday, November 10, 2019
Take Action: Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Use subject line: "LCD" or "Wound Care" and attach personalized template letter and references.)
- Unique template letter (.docx) | References (.pdf)
Regulatory Advocacy Template Letter
APTA has created this template letter for you to use in submitting comments. Simply insert your individual information where indicated. As a reminder, your comments represent only you and your situation; they should not imply representation of the association. Access template letter (.doc).
Other Ways to Engage
Federal agencies frequently seek input from stakeholders and national experts on proposed payment and coverage policies, research agendas, quality measures, and more. The selection process for federal committees, task forces, panels, and commissions is competitive. Participation in these groups demonstrates both expertise in your field and a commitment to your profession, which will be reflected on your CV for years to come. Serving on such a committee allows you to make invaluable contributions to your area of expertise and raise recognition of the physical therapy profession. While serving requires a small time commitment, the time is well spent and is a great way to develop networks and make contacts with fellow experts from across the nation.
If you are interested in serving on a federal committee, task force, or advisory panel, please contact the advocacy team at email@example.com and provide your name, contact information, and a brief biographical sketch.