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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

PT Professionals Urged to Lobby Congress About Exceptions Process

Published December 7, 2009 9:05 AM by Brian Ferrie

Less than a month remains for Congress to extend the Medicare therapy cap exceptions process and avoid a scheduled 21.2 percent cut in provider payments, noted the APTA's PT Bulletin Online from December 4 (http://www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Current_Issue#article66728). Without congressional action, the therapy cap exceptions process will expire December 31. On January 1, a $1,860 per year/per beneficiary cap for outpatient physical therapy and speech language pathology services (hospital outpatient departments are exempt) will go into effect. Congress also will need to pass legislation to override regulations implementing a 21.2 percent cut to payments under the Medicare physician fee schedule.

The APTA is asking PT professionals to call, e-mail or send a fax to their members of Congress today, urging them to pass legislation ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries and people with disabilities continue to have access to high-quality rehabilitation services. APTA members can find sample letters and easy access to members of Congress through the association's Legislative Action Center. PT professionals may also ask their patients to contact Congress through APTA's Patient Action Center. This site is designed to educate patients on these issues and provides form e-mails and letters for them to contact Congress. Will you participate in this effort? Which other measures do you believe should be taken to address restrictions posed by the therapy cap?

posted by Brian Ferrie

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