APTQI Joins More than 100 Organizations on Letter to Congressional Leadership Urging Action to Address Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Cuts

Medicare again proposed deep, across-the-board payment cuts to physical, occupational, and speech therapy services despite broad opposition from lawmakers and healthcare stakeholders

Washington, D.C.—The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) joined more than 100 organizations representing more than one million physician and non-physician healthcare professionals in signing a letter to Senate Finance, House Ways and Means, and House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership urging Congress to take action to mitigate the scheduled payment cuts in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) CY2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Proposed Rule. The proposed rule once again includes deep, across-the-board payment cuts to specialty providers, cutting the Medicare conversion factor by 4.5 percent in 2023.

With the physical therapy field still dealing with the impact of the 15 percent cuts to physical and occupational therapy assistants implemented in 2022, along with the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, physical therapists are increasingly concerned with how to financially continue providing high-quality, accessible care to every patient. Providers are calling on Congress to pass legislation providing at least a 4.5 percent conversion factor adjustment for 2023, waiving the statutory 4 percent PAYGO requirement, and providing a one-year inflationary update based on the Medicare Economic Index.

“We find it extremely troubling that CMS has proposed yet another round of deep cuts to therapy service providers,” said Nikesh Patel, PT, Executive Director of APTQI. “These cuts are dangerous and undermine access to care for the millions of seniors across the country who rely on physical, occupational, and speech therapy to manage their pain, increase their mobility, and regain their independence. Congress must intervene to stop these cuts from going into effect to preserve senior access to this vital care and ensure financial stability for providers.”

In addition to mitigating the immediate CY23 MPFS cuts, the organizations also called on Congress to address systemic issues within the Medicare physician payment system, including the negative impact of budget neutrality requirements and the lack of an annual inflationary update, that continue to create instability for healthcare professionals and beneficiaries’ access to healthcare services.

“Our organizations welcome the opportunity to work together to establish a pathway for identifying policy solutions that will ensure long-term stability for the MPFS, and we remain committed to partnering with Congress to identify and advance necessary reforms. However, this will require both collaboration and a significant time investment. Millions of seniors rely on the Medicare program, and we must work to ensure it remains a robust and dependable option for those who need it the most, both in the short and long term,” the letter said.

Groups on the letter include the American Medical Association, American Physical Therapy Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, and United Specialists for Patient Access.

The read the coalition letter, click here.