APTQI Commends Representatives Brendan Boyle and Vern Buchanan for Introducing Bipartisan Legislation to Block Steep Cuts to Physical Therapy Services
Washington, D.C. –– The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) today applauded Representatives Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) for introducing the Outpatient Therapy Modernization and Stabilization Act which, if passed, will extend a necessary lifeline to physical and occupational therapists who are struggling to maintain seniors’ access to therapy services amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. APTQI previously sent a letter in support of the legislation, recognizing that this vital piece of legislation would give providers, including physical therapists, financial relief while stabilizing patient access to medically necessary care.
“As the coronavirus pandemic places unprecedented economic stress on physical therapy clinics across the United States, this bill would provide critical relief by protecting physical and occupational therapists from an eight percent payment reduction set to go into effect in less than six months,” said Nikesh Patel, PT, DPT, Executive Director of APTQI. “The legislation represents a crucial pillar of support for countless physical therapy practices across the country who face severe reimbursement cuts while they are still struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bipartisan legislation also protects access to therapy by giving patients certainty that they may keep the option to receive therapy via telehealth after the emergency period ends. “Patients have embraced telehealth and they want to keep the benefit,” said Patel.
Finally, APTQI’s letter also praises the bill’s provision to reduce unnecessary paperwork. By clarifying that either a referral or a certified plan of care can be used to demonstrate a patient is under a physician or non-physician provider’s care, the bill clears away burdensome administrative hurdles for both the referring provider and the therapist.
“As our letter makes clear, we are wholly supportive and appreciative of Representatives Boyle and Buchanan’s efforts to support physical and occupational therapy providers and the patients we serve during this challenging time,” concluded Patel. “We urge other lawmakers in Congress to join Representatives Boyle and Buchanan in supporting this critical legislation.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Darren Soto (D-FL).
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