With 2017 quickly coming to an end, the time to let your voices be heard on the therapy cap is now. Please urge Congress to revisit this important issue before the exceptions process expires at the end of 2017. Please click here to contact your Members of Congress to voice your support to repeal the cap.
For the past 20 years, Congress has maintained a cap on how much outpatient therapy a Medicare beneficiary can receive each year, regardless of medical necessity. Since the policy’s enactment, Congress has stopped this “hard cap” on services by implementing multiple, temporary moratoria and an “exceptions process”. Congressional leadership has shown significant interest in repealing the therapy cap once and for all. Recently, the three committees with jurisdiction over Part B therapy agreed to and released a discussion draft that would repeal the caps and continue the targeted medical review program. Until this discussion draft is added to any end of the year legislation, we need to continue building support to repeal the cap.
Rehabilitation therapists provide PT and OT and SLP services to patients in nursing facilities and other settings through the Medicare Part B outpatient therapy benefit. The goal of treatment is to help beneficiaries regain and or maintain function; recuperate from various conditions and surgeries; achieve positive outcomes; and safely return and remain home. Nursing facility patients are much more likely to have chronic conditions and typically have a higher level of impairment and more comorbidities. They can take longer to respond to rehabilitation therapy and need more therapy than beneficiaries who live independently at home. Data shows that patients with stroke, hip fracture, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that require extensive rehabilitation are most likely to be affected by the Medicare Part B therapy caps.
In order to fix the flawed “therapy cap” policy, Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and Erik Paulsen (R-MN), and Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 807/S. 253). This bill would permanently repeal the therapy cap. We need Members of Congress to co-sponsor these bills to show support for a permanent repeal.
20 years is enough and the time to act is now. Please join NASL in our efforts to end this policy once and for all.
The National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL) is a trade association representing the legislative and regulatory interests of companies that provide physical, occupational and speech-language pathology therapies, and specialized supplies and services for long term and post acute care settings nationally. The mission of NASL is to represent ancillary service providers and suppliers in the long term and post acute care community on healthcare policy and to advocate for high-quality, cost-effective care.