Legislative Action Alert: Therapy Cap

Posted by APTA, October 4, 2011: Click here for full PDF version.

Only 88 days remain for Congress to take action on the therapy cap and Medicare payment cuts. It is critical that Congress pass legislation before December 31, 2011 to extend the therapy cap exceptions process and to avoid the scheduled 29.5% cut in provider payments under the Medicare physician fee schedule.

This year, the opportunity to have this devastating payment cut and expiring therapy cap exceptions process resolved will require targeted messaging to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee, is a joint select committee of the US Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011. The 12-member panel, divided evenly among Democrats and Republicans, has until November 23, 2011 to propose at least $1.2 trillion in 10-year budget savings. If it does not propose a package or if Congress doesn’t approve it, $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts will be triggered. The Medicare payment cut and the extension of the therapy cap exceptions process will need to be taken care of within the Supercommittee’s package. While APTA is working tirelessly with congressional offices on the hill to protect the profession and our patients from these impending budget cuts, we need your help.

In conjunction with the efforts driven by APTA’s lobby team, APTA Vice President of Government and Payment advocacy Justin Moore, PT, DPT was invited to testify before the United States House of Representatives on Ways and Means Health Subcommittee on the detrimental effect the therapy cap can have on Medicare beneficiaries. In his testimony Dr. Moore provided background on the therapy caps and described the types of patients who are most affected by the caps. Dr. Moore also highlighted several cost saving proposals to address the therapy cap and payment reform under Medicare Part B. Subcommittee ranking member Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA) said some of the provisions, such as the therapy cap exceptions process, ensure critical access to needy Medicare beneficiaries.
Help us reinforce our message by contacting your legislator today.

Message:
• Ask your member of Congress to sign onto the Dear Colleague letter initiated by Representative Allyson Schwartz which urges the Supercommittee to include the SGR fix in the Supercommittee’s proposal.
• Request that your Congressman sign onto the Therapy Cap Repeal legislation (H.R. 1546) and support addressing the therapy cap as part of the Supercommittee package.

What You Can Do
• Send an email to your Members of Congress TODAY. For sample letters and easy access to contacting your Members of Congress by electronic means or download and print letters, utilize APTA’s Legislative Action Center.
• Request your patients to contact Congress on this issue through APTA’s Patient Action Center. This site is designed to educate patients on the issue and to provide easy access to form emails and letters for them to contact Congress.
Keep Your Colleagues Informed Request that your colleagues take action through APTA’s Legislative Action Center and sign up for APTA’s Grassroots Network, PTeam. PTeam will be the main source of information for legislative updates and breaking news on the effort to pass legislation to extend the therapy cap exceptions process and avoid the 29.5% cut.

Thanks for your help in getting the message through to Congress!

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Kristi Fredieu

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