AOTA Federal Policy is a blog maintained by AOTA’s Federal and Regulatory Affairs Departments, covering the latest happenings in Congress, the White House, and across the federal agencies. While the battles of Washington often seem far removed from your role as a practitioner, student, educator, or business owner, public policy undoubtedly shapes the way you practice, what you are paid, and who you’re able to see. We hope this blog serves as a means to bring you closer to the process and keep you up to date on the latest federal issues affecting your practice.
In addition to the content on this blog, you can still find regular updates and information on our Congressional Affairs and Regulatory Affairs pages by visiting AOTA’s website including our Legislative Action Center.
Today, the Senate completed work on a year-long patch, passed last week by the House, that will avert cuts to Medicare providers and extend the therapy exceptions process. Despite the desire and effort of many in Congress to forge ahead with a more comprehensive fix to Medicare payment policy and broad agreement on the approach, an impasse over how to pay for the bill slowed progress ahead of the March 31st deadline.
With an immediate compromise out of reach, the House and Senate took prudent steps to avoid significant disruption to the Medicare program. More specifically, the 12-month patch:
• Delays cuts of 24 percent on Medicare Physician Fee Schedule until March 31, 2015
• Extends the therapy cap exceptions process
• Delays ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets until October 1, 2015
The patch is estimated to cost about $22 billion and is financed by...
• Capturing savings from misvalued codes in MPFS .
• Applying a 2% cut atop sequester for first 6 months of 2024.
• Modifying Medicaid payments to disproportionate-share hospitals that treat high numbers of uninsured or underinsured patients.
AOTA appreciates the House and Senate’s actions to ensure a path to care is preserved for our nation’s seniors. We remain hopeful that lawmakers can, in that same spirit, come together and find agreement on a long term solution for Medicare’s payment system that includes full repeal of the outpatient therapy cap.