"The Senior Care Resource Network"
LTC industry applauds legislation to roll back therapy caps
March 22, 2013 by Bob Gatty
Legislation that would roll back caps on therapy services to seniors in skilled nursing centers has been introduced in both the House and Senate and is being applauded by an industry reeling from one payment reduction after another. The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act was introduced in the Senate in mid-February by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and in the House by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA).
Created as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the therapy cap places an annual $1,900 financial limit on payment for outpatient therapy services under Medicare Part B. Physical therapy and speech language pathology services are under a combined cap and another is applied to occupational therapy.
The legislation would permanently end these limitations. “Long-term and post-acute care patients should be assured of receiving the full spectrum of necessary therapies prescribed by their doctors to complete their recovery,” said Gov. Mark Parkinson, president and ceo of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). “Doctors and caregivers should be monitoring patient progress, not a cap, when administering these important therapies to their patients and our residents,” he asserted. “On behalf of the entire profession, I commend Senators Cardin and Collins as well as Congressmen Gerlach and Becerra for their leadership in this important fight.” .