On my mind today:
Following is a list of the Members of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. We need to contact these folks to ask them to support H.R. 1546 (112th): Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2011. This will amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps. By repealing the outpatient rehabilitation caps we will allow patients with chronic illnesses and complicated recoveries to continue to access the care they need to live a full and functional life. If your representative is not on this list, please contact them anyway. Every representative matters.
Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health
Rep. Kevin Brady, TX, Chairman
|Rep. Sam Johnson, TX
Rep. Paul Ryan, WI
Rep. Devin Nunes, CA
Rep. Peter Roskam, IL
Rep. Jim Gerlach, PA
Rep. Tom Price, GA
Rep. Vern Buchanan, FL
Rep. Adrian Smith, NE
|Rep. Jim McDermott, WA, Ranking Member
Rep. Mike Thompson, CA
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, OR
Rep. Ron Kind, WI
Rep. Bill Pascrell, NJ
Ways and Means Committee Office
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
We also need to ask our representatives to amend Section 1802(b)(5)(B) of the Social Security Act, which currently prohibits physical therapists from entering into private contracts with Medicare patients to provide services. Because the current law does not allow physical therapists to “opt out” of Medicare, small physical therapist owned private practices that do not participate with Medicare are prohibited from treating Medicare patients. This prohibits a significant portion of the population from seeking physical therapy care from the provider of their choice. Nearly all other healthcare providers and physicians are able to “opt out” and many service providers (massage therapists and personal trainers) are not restricted from working with Medicare patients because they are not in a position to take Medicare as payment for services.
Thanks to Tim Richardson, PT for providing this explanation of the wording we seek to have inserted into the amendment: http://bit.ly/WQpQWI
To accomplish this change, we recommend that Section 1802(b)(5)(B) of the Social Security Act be amended as follows: Section 1802(b)(5)(B) (42 U.S.C. 1395a(b)(5)(C)) is amended by striking “the term practitioner has the meaning given such term by section 1842(b)(18)(C)” and inserting “In this subparagraph, the term “practitioner” means an individual defined at section 1842(b)(18)(C) or an individual who is qualified as a physical therapist.”
Please show your support for outpatient physical therapy by following up on these issues. We need to make our voices heard, for the benefit of our patients.