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FEDERAL UPDATE: DECEMBER 2019 Updates from Your Federal Affairs Liaison

Tuesday, December 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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FEDERAL UPDATE: DECEMBER 2019

Updates from Your Federal Affairs Liaison


- Kirsten Transue, PT, OCS, COMT
IPTA 2019 Federal Affairs Liaison
Member since 1996

Despite all the impeachment hearings and craziness in DC, the APTA is still working hard for us and getting things done.

And we need to support them.

Here are some of the bills/topics that are on the top of the list:

MEDICARE FEE SCHEDULE:

An estimated 8% cut to PT/OT in 2021 has been announced, this is in addition to the PTA cuts in 2020.

How did we get here? The increased value/reimbursement proposed for the E&M (evaluation and management) codes means there needs to be cuts to other codes to maintain budget neutrality.

APTA is developing a strategy to fight this. 36 other specialties in health care are also looking at cuts and we are reaching out to other organizations to see how we can work together to fight the cuts.

What can you do? Watch for Action Alerts from APTA to send letters to your members of congress to let them know how this will adversely affect your patients and businesses. Collect patient stories and videos of patients. This could impact patient access and shut down smaller practices. Use #FIGHTTHECUT on social media to address this issue.

MEDICARE PATIENT EMPOWERMENT ACT S2812:

This bill was just introduced by Senator Rand Paul. It would allow PTs to opt out of Medicare and still be able to accept private payment from Medicare recipients. There is not a house version yet.

The APTA Legislative Action Center will have more upcoming news on this. We need to reach out to our Senators now and in the future to our house members to ask them to co-sponsor this bill. This will give Medicare patients more choices in selecting a provider.

CONNECT ACT of 2019 (Telehealth bill) - S2741

This currently has 23 co-sponsors in Senate and the House bill (HR4932) has 8 co-sponsors. We need to get more co-sponsors on this.

The best way to participate and stay active is to respond to APTAs action alerts and to use the APTAs PT ACTION App. The app has all the bills we are currently working on and all the information you need to reach out to your Representative and Senators.

PT-PAC UPDATE

Please contribute to APTA's Physical Therapy Political Action Committee (PT-PAC). Our contributions directly help us fight for our profession, like fighting the 8% cut. It really makes a difference. Even doing a $10/month contribution helps. Donate today at ptpac.org.

Happy Holidays! Let’s keep moving PT forward.


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