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Therapy Cap Coalition asks Congress to Reject MedPAC Proposal Limiting Patient and Consumer Access

18-Jun-2013

On Friday, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) shared its recommendations for reforming outpatient therapy services in Medicare with Congress. While our coalition of patient and consumer advocates, health professionals and provider organizations appreciates MedPAC’s efforts to put forth meaningful reform proposals, we believe some of the panel’s final recommendations would serve to significantly reduce access to vital rehabilitation care and do little to ensure appropriate payment for services or minimize inappropriate utilization.

Despite serious concerns with many of the recommendations, we are pleased by the Commissioners’ recognition that a hard cap on outpatient therapy without an exceptions process would create enormous barriers to care for tens of thousands of seniors across the country.

However, MedPAC’s recommendation to lower the annual allowable limits for outpatient therapy services from $1,880 to $1270 is particularly troubling to the rehabilitation community. Under such a proposal, Americans most in need of rehabilitation therapy would, undoubtedly, see their recovery efforts halted by delays in care and barriers to access. We urge Congress to reject this approach.

Time and again the value of therapy has resulted in lower health care costs and improvement in quality of life for patients and consumers requiring these services.  Together our coalition remains committed to working with MedPAC and Congress to achieve meaningful reform that ensures access to care, maintains program integrity, and captures the value of therapy including its potential to reduce spending and promote better health outcomes throughout our system.

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The Therapy Cap Coalition is composed of almost 50 associations, organizations, patient, and consumer groups representing the interests of patients, health professionals and providers. The Coalition advocates annually against a hard cap on physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology services under Medicare.


 
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