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’s House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing, examining the merits of various site-neutral and post-acute care payment reforms, marks a mounting chorus of voices on Capitol Hill seeking changes to post acute care. Recent discussions on Capitol Hill have sought to better understand the care delivery and payment variability across the many post acute settings, including Long Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), and Home Health Agencies (HHAs).
AOTA has been active in its outreach to lawmakers about occupational therapy’s role in each of these settings. Today’s hearing highlighted the role rehabilitation has as “a lifeline to improved health and functional status, and enhanced quality of life.” In addition, the hearing considered various avenues of reform including bundling and site neutral payment proposals put forth by Members on the Committee.
While passage of bundling and site neutral reforms do not appear imminent, the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees have set out to establish a foundation from which those types of proposals may be better judged in the future.
The initiative jointly unveiled by the two Committees, known as the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), seeks to establish and collect a standardized set of data across the various post-acute care settings as a means to inform broader reform down the road. AOTA has been proactive in its outreach to the Committees and provided feedback on their proposal last week. AOTA’s comments can be read by clicking here. AOTA is following developments in the area of post acute care closely and will continue to keep membership apprised of new developments as they unfold.