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Congress Short-Term Fix on Therapy Services for Nation's Elderly

Author: American Health Care Association

Published: 2010-03-04


Prevent Medicare beneficiaries from being negatively impacted by the therapy cap policy.

Main Digest

AHCA Applauds Congress for Passing Short-Term Fix on Therapy Services for Nation's Elderly - Long Term Care Leader Urges Congress to Enact a Longer Term Solution for Financial Limits on Therapy Services for Nation's Elderly.

The nation's largest long term care advocacy organization praised the Senate today for recognizing the need to reinstate the exceptions process for Medicare Part B outpatient therapy services in the short term, but urged Congress to take swift action on enacting a longer term fix for the onerous financial caps on therapy services.

"We thank the Congress for passing a short term fix to these arbitrary caps, and for recognizing that capping therapy services is based on cost but not based on care considerations," stated Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "In the two short months since these financial limits on therapy services had expired, more than ten thousand vulnerable individuals in our member facilities had hit the cap and been forced to relinquish essential therapy services."

The long term care organization was one of over forty groups that came together at a press conference on Capitol Hill today, elevating the need to repeal the exceptions process for therapy services to the national spotlight. The Therapy Coalition - made up of consumer, patient, professional, and provider organizations - detailed that the arbitrary financial limits on physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services could force tens of thousands of Americans to forgo critical therapy services, which aid patients in reaching the highest level of functioning possible.

"Congress has responded six times in the past to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from being negatively impacted by the therapy cap policy and we hope that they will take a permanent step and ensure that not another elderly citizen is cut off from these crucial therapy services needed to improve their conditions," Yarwood concluded. "I urge Congress to work in a bipartisan way to ensure that all Americans have access to critical rehabilitative services they need and deserve."

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