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APTA Joins with Patient and Health Care Groups on Capitol Hill in Calling for Long-Term Solution to Therapy Cap

Thursday, March 4, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 3 The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) joined with more than forty patient advocacy groups and health care organizations today to thank Congress for temporarily reinstating the therapy cap exceptions process and urge for a long-term solution to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can continue receiving necessary rehabilitative services.

The Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (HR 4691), which was passed by the US House of Representatives last week and the Senate last night, was signed into law this morning by President Obama and reinstates the exceptions process that allows for services above the $1,860 financial cap based on diagnosis, clinician evaluation, and judgment until March 31, 2010. In the first 60 days of 2010, thousands of patients exceeded the $1,860 financial cap on outpatient rehabilitative services, forcing them to delay, reduce, or discontinue needed therapy because the exceptions process had expired December 31, 2009.

"We're grateful for this short-term reprieve of the therapy cap," said APTA President R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "However, our advocacy efforts continue for a long-term solution to this arbitrary limit on services that so negatively affects seniors and people with disabilities, many of whom have chronic conditions or comorbidities."

Imposed by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the therapy caps end Medicare's coverage of outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services (hospital outpatient departments are exempt) billed under Medicare Part B once a beneficiary has received $1,860 of services in a calendar year. The cap exceptions process was implemented in 2006.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 74,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com. Join us on Twitter (@moveforwardpt).

SOURCE American Physical Therapy Association
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