APTQI Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Block Across-the-Board Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Cuts

Bera-Bucshon legislation extends the 3.75% physician payment adjustment for an additional year in 2022

Washington, D.C. –– The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) today applauded the introduction of the Supporting Medicare Providers Act (H.R. 6020), bipartisan legislation to extend the 2021 Medicare physician payment adjustment of 3.75 percent for an additional year. The bill, introduced by Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) in the U.S. House, addresses across-the-board payment cuts to specialty care services including physical, occupational, and speech therapy in the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

“We commend Congressmen Bera and Bucshon for again sponsoring legislation to protect specialty care providers and Medicare patients from continued cuts to Medicare services for America’s most vulnerable patients,” said Nikesh Patel, PT, Executive Director of APTQI. “The Supporting Medicare Providers Act will ensure greater stability across the outpatient specialty provider sector, especially among physical, occupational and speech therapy practices that are facing a cascade of payment cuts in the year ahead.”

The Final PFS Rule includes the 3.75 percent cut to specialty providers in 2022 by failing to extend the physician payment adjustment, which will eventually add up to a steep 9 percent payment cut to physical, occupational and speech therapy by 2024. The final rule also includes a troubling 15 percent cut for services provided by physical and occupational therapy assistants.

Lawmakers and providers have warned that the latest cuts—on top of years of reduced reimbursement for therapy services—would undermine the ability of vulnerable seniors to access the vital care they need to manage their post-operative care, pain, mobility challenges, and risk of falling. In October, 247 Members of Congress led by Reps. Bera and Bucshon sent a letter to House leadership urging them to begin working on long-term reform to prevent impending cuts and bring stability to the Medicare payment system.

“We commend Congress for acting quickly to protect specialty practices and their patients from the potentially negative impacts of these continued payment cuts,” added Patel. “Now that H.R. 6020 has been introduced, we urge lawmakers to support this bill to ensure it is passed into law this year before these cuts take effect January 1.”

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