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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Are Changes Coming?

Published November 6, 2008 2:51 PM by Lisa Lombardo

America has elected a new president--an historic event that even other nations are taking notice of. Sen. Barack Obama's election as the first African-American president will rightly be remembered as a turning point in U.S. politics. But without too much prognostication, how will his election affect changes to health care policies? And specifically to issues affecting the physical therapy profession?

As we reported in our Sept. 22 issue previewing the election, the largest component of President-elect Obama's health care plan is his commitment to making affordable health care coverage available to all Americans. This includes 46 million--at least 8 million of whom are children. According to his campaign statements, under Sen. Obama's plan all Americans will be afforded the opportunity to buy a plan--at affordable rates--that mirrors the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan members of Congress have. No American will be turned away from Sen. Obama's plan due to pre-existing diseases or conditions. The plan will cover all essential medical services, even such instances as maternity and mental health.

Aside from major health insurance changes, will the Democrat-majority Congress now decide to make changes to the top issues affecting PT: getting rid of the caps on outpatient therapy under Medicare, pursing a plan for direct access to PT under Medicare or holding the physician fee schedule at its current rate?

What do you think? Will Democrat-managed decisions on Medicare make a difference in the next four years?

1 comments

As a PT practice owner, my concern will be socialized medicine and the effects of PT reimbursement.  Instead of assuming everyone will received health care for all at an affordable rate due to insurance cost, perhaps the physician fee schedule will dramatically decrease given the burden to the health care professionals.  Change will come, but how... Brace yourself!!!

Jose , Ortho - PT, Sanitas Rehab, Inc November 22, 2008 10:22 AM
Chicago IL

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