An APTA-supported bill now in the U.S. House of Representatives has the potential to address some of the most damaging elements of the flawed differential system that reduces payment for services delivered by a PTA or occupational therapy assistant by 15%. But lawmakers need to pay attention and act.
That's where you come in: You can help by by sending an email to your representative urging them to cosponsor H.R. 5536, as well as push for the legislation to be added to the next continuing resolution that Congress must pass in February. The APTA Patient Action Center makes it easy through a template system that only takes a few clicks to complete.
H.R. 5536, also known as the Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation, or SMART, Act, is a bipartisan bill aimed at mitigating the 15% payment differential. If passed into law, the legislation would suspend the differential until Jan. 1, 2023, and exempt rural and underserved areas from the system indefinitely. Additionally, the SMART Act would allow for general supervision of PTAs by PTs in outpatient settings under Medicare Part B, lifting an unnecessary burden and freeing up providers to care for patients.