Earlier this year telehealth services were approved for physical therapy. Through this service, physical therapy offices have been able to perform visits over webcam for patients who are unable to visit in person due to health risks or safety concerns. With many of our friends and family participating in social distancing and self-isolating in response to COVID-19, the Telehealth service has been a great way for our team to continue to care for our patients. This change has also allowed increased access to care for patients who live long distances from a clinic or who have small children or little flexibility in terms of getting away from work to attend therapy. We now have a way to extend telehealth physical therapy services beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to lobbying to extend telehealth services, the Physical Therapy profession needs your help to prevent a very negative event from occurring. In 2021, there is a scheduled cut of 8% of Medicare reimbursement for outpatient therapy services. Offices that run on already thin margins are being pushed to the limits and changes like this may potentially reduce access to quality physical therapy care. We have a way to stop this planned, damaging budget cut.
A Solution Is Here!
Thankfully, there is a team of bipartisan lawmakers who are taking the necessary steps to advocate for our patients and fellow physical therapists. This group is fighting on behalf of those who rely on physical and occupational therapy services to manage their chronic and acute pain and are working to ensure that those who need these services continue to have access to them.
The following group of lawmakers have introduced the Outpatient Therapy Modernization and Stabilization Act (H.R. 7154).
- Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
- Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
- Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
- Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE)
- Mike Doyle (D-PA)
- Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)
- Bobby Rush (D-IL)
- Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)
- Darren Soto (D-FL)
If this legislation is passed, it will protect essential access to outpatient therapy services by blocking cuts to reimbursement and providing Medicare patients with protected access to therapist-guided Telehealth services.
How Can You Help?
We need you to help us make sure this legislation passes! Join us in helping to protect those who rely on Medicare and the Telehealth Program. Visit the Alliance For Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation site today follow the easy prompts to contact your local congressperson and support the Outpatient Therapy Modernization and Stabilization Act (H.R. 7154).