Bipartisan Legislation Reforming Medicare Payment Would Ensure Financial Stability for Physical Therapy Providers

Each year, specialty healthcare providers like physical, occupational, and speech therapists face uncertainty about whether they’ll have the financial stability to continue providing care for their patients. The current Medicare physician fee schedule payment model does not adequately account for rising inflation, labor costs, or other economic pressures that have only worsened since the onset of the pandemic.

Luckily, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to address concerns amid the industry that Medicare payments have not kept pace with financial challenges like inflation. The bipartisan Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 2474) would tie annual Medicare pay raises for physicians to the Medicare Economic Index. This would help address payment uncertainty and a possible Medicare physician shortage.

Recent polling by Morning Consult has shown that protecting physical therapists from Medicare payment cuts is important among voters. Eighty percent of senior voters polled expressed concerns that proposed Medicare payment cuts may eliminate alternatives for treatment outside of nursing homes and that they are more likely to vote for candidates in future elections who support protecting physical and occupational therapists from Medicare pay cuts.

Ensuring continued access to physical and occupational therapy services is especially important for the Medicare beneficiary population, which is older and more likely to need help recovering from an injury or improving their flexibility and mobility to stay healthy and independent. Additionally, the nation faces rising rates of falls, which are the leading cause of injury and death among seniors.

To urge your Representative to support H.R. 2474 to stabilize Medicare payments to specialty providers, CLICK HERE.