How Will Congress Act on Therapy Caps?

BMSPost1ImageYou see them in your practice every week – elderly men and women recovering from hip replacement surgery, stroke, or another disabling condition. Their outer frailty is often matched by an inner strength that says so much about their generation.

They deserve our very best. They deserve to have as much therapy as needed to return to an optimal level of independence for their safety. Yet if Congress doesn’t act in the next two weeks, the Medicare Therapy Cap will take effect and force a 27.4% cut in provider payments. This would limit physical therapy and speech language pathology to a combined $1,810 as well as occupational therapy to $1,810.

The therapy cap was initially passed with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to limit Medicare spending. In 2006, an exceptions process was first introduced with waivers for certain medical rehabilitation needs. It was extended through the end of this year.

Now the threat is real that therapy caps may soon put a limit on our elderly patients’ quality of life as well as the fiscal health of independent practices. You can help prevent therapy caps by taking action through APTA’s Legislative Action Center and signing up for the APTA’s grassroots network.