APTQI Commends U.S. Senators for Introducing Legislation to Protect Specialty Providers from Harmful Payment Cuts
S. 5007 would hold providers harmless from cuts to Medicare services through 2022
Washington, D.C. – The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) today applauded Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), for introducing S. 5007. If enacted, the legislation would provide critical relief to dozens of specialty providers scheduled to incur severe payment cuts starting in 2021, including physical, occupational, and speech language therapists.
As companion legislation to the bipartisan Holding Providers Harmless From Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020 (H.R.8702), which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in October, S. 5007 would hold providers harmless from cuts for Medicare services provided through 2022. The legislation represents a much needed legislative fix that would protect specialty providers and Medicare beneficiaries from draconian reimbursement reductions while still allowing significant reimbursement increases for evaluation and management (E/M) services included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Final Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Rule for CY2021.
“We commend Senators Boozman, Hyde-Smith, Collins, Cramer and Cotton for championing legislation to ensure continued patient access to vital specialty care, including services furnished by physical, occupational, and speech language therapists,” said Nikesh Patel, PT, Executive Director of APTQI. “The financial impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency – in conjunction with steep Medicare payment cuts – would deal an irrevocable blow to America’s healthcare infrastructure. With the clock ticking, it’s critical for lawmakers to move quickly to get this legislation through Congress and onto the president’s desk for signature before the cuts take effect January 1.”
Over the last several months, APTQI has worked aggressively to support passage of S. 5007’s companion legislation in the U.S. House. In November, the Alliance joined more than 70 leading healthcare organizations in sending a letter to House lawmakers thanking them for the introduction of H.R.8702 while underscoring the need for immediate relief.
APTQI has worked collaboratively with lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus and other lawmakers across the House and Senate to advance this essential senior care legislation. Further, APTQI advocates have sent more than 65,000 letters to CMS and lawmakers in Congress urging relief from these cuts.
“The introduction of this legislation in the U.S. Senate is a critical development, and APTQI will continue its engagement efforts with key members on Capitol Hill until a legislative remedy is achieved, whether in this Congress or the next,” Patel concluded.
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