Legislation Introduced to Stop the Medicare Outpatient Therapy Cap
AOTA Urges Action to Protect Access to Medically Necessary Services
Washington, DC — On Thursday, February 14th, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA), introduced a bill to permanently repeal the Medicare outpatient therapy cap. The bill, the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act, is identical to the therapy cap bill introduced in the last Congress.
AOTA Executive Director Fred Somers notes, “Senators Cardin and Collins, and Representatives Gerlach and Becerra, know therapy is essential for full recovery from stroke or heart disease or for preventing a bad fall. This bill takes a stand against a bad policy and for good health. Therapists and beneficiaries appreciate their continuing leadership on this issue.”
AOTA fully supports repeal of the Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Caps, which place arbitrary limits on access to medically necessary rehabilitation services for all Medicare patients seeking outpatient services. The financial restriction of the therapy cap for 2013 is set at $1,900 for occupational therapy services, with a separate therapy cap of $1,900 for physical therapy and speech-language-pathology services combined.
AOTA believes that it is critical that Congress continues to focus on the problem of the cap to ensure Medicare beneficiaries get the proper care, for the appropriate duration of time, within the correct timeframe throughout the disease process in order to maximize their function so they can be as independent and productive as possible.
For more information about the American Occupational Therapy Association’s work to protect therapy services, contact AOTA’s Director of Legislative Advocacy Heather Parsons, 301-652-6611 ext. 2112 or HParsons@aota.org.
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to http://www.aota.org/.