Federal Legislative Issues Update - January 2011
With the republicans majority in the House focusing on efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and the Senate yet to nail down a legislative agenda the 112th Congress has gotten off to a relatively slow start. While this legislative malaise has been further exacerbated by the tragic shooting in Tucson and the growing unrest in Cairo, the 112th Congress is poised to address several issues critical to the profession of occupational therapy.
Please read the February AOTA Federal Legislative Update for more information about what is happening on Capitol Hill.
Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Caps
While AOTA was successful in securing an extension of the exceptions process through the end of the year, addressing this issue remains critical to the profession of occupational therapy and the patients we serve. AOTA is actively working in coalition with other groups and with our champions on Capital Hill to reintroduce the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act, formerly H.R. 43/S.46, in the 112th Congress to fully repeal the arbitrary annual cap on critical occupational therapy services.
To support AOTA’s efforts in securing strong bi-partisan support in both chambers of Congress, we urge you to utilize AOTA’s legislative action center to contact your representatives in both chambers of Congress to urge their support for this important issue.
Making Occupational Therapy an Initiating Service in Medicare Home Health
AOTA continues its work towards making occupational therapy an initiating service in Medic are home health and is currently working towards reintroduction of the Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act (formerly H.R.1094/S. 3978).
Senator Tim Johnson and Representative John Lewis have agreed to reintroduction of this important legislation and AOTA continues to work to secure strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate. Utilize AOTA’s legislative action center to contact your representatives in both chambers of Congress to urge their support for this important legislation.
Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR)
AOTA have a meeting will be meeting with representatives from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) rule. AOTA will be focusing on the distinct nature of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language pathology in providing effective, medically necessary care and the need to recognize this distinction when implementing Medicare payment policy.
AOTA will continue to exhaust all available avenues to address this harmful, arbitrary cut to reimbursement.
Community Living Services and Support Act (CLASS)
Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is planning to implement the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS) which was authorized as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The CLASS act is a voluntary program that affords individuals the ability to obtain reliable long-term care coverage. Learn more about CLASS »
AOTPAC is gearing up for the AOTA Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Plans are set for AOTPAC Night, Saturday, 4/16/11, for the KaraOTe Idol III contest. All are welcome to participate, and we are encouraging students to participate as a group to represent your school. AOTPAC Board members and AOTA lobby staff will be available at the AOTPAC Booth in the conference registration area of the convention center to answer your questions about legislative and political activities for OT. AOTPAC Chair, Amy Lamb, will be presenting to leadership groups during their meetings prior to the start of the conference.
Denise Miller was reappointed to serve a second term on the AOTPAC Board of Directors representing AOTPAC Region V.
The board set a fundraising goal of $225,000 for calendar year 2011. AOTA members are encouraged to support these efforts with contributions throughout the year.
AOTPAC is assisting the AOTA Federal Affairs team to identify key grassroots contacts for specific members of Congress in an effort to enhance AOTA’s grassroots lobbying efforts. If you know a member of Congress or their family or staff, please let us know. That connection is important and could help in our efforts to advocate for OT.