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Practice Affairs → Public Policy

Public policy is the system of laws, regulations, action plans and funding priorities adopted by federal and local governing bodies. Advocacy is the process undertaken to provide education for policy makers with the goal of shaping policy for the common good. Consistent with APTA’s 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, the Hand Academy recognizes our professional responsibility to educate policy makers to ensure equal access to our services, fair reimbursement for those services and protect our profession.

Advocacy Opportunities

8/31/2020

Save the date for September 10 and participate in the APTA#FIGHTTHECUT Virtual Rally.

The goal of the rally is to send 50,000 letters to the Hill regarding the proposed cut in one day. Watch this space for more information. As of August 27, over 46,000 emails had been sent to Congress by APTA members and supporters. If you have not yet participated, Take Action Today.


CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule

If you have never participated in advocacy for your profession, now is the time! In addition to contacting your Legislators through the APTA Action Center, APTA has developed template letters for submission directly to CMS. Additional customizable templates are available for students and patients along with detail instructions for electronic submission. Take Action Now!

Make sure your voice is heard!


The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2021 is calling for an estimated 9% decrease in payment for codes tied to Part B physical therapist services. Over the past year, APTA and our members have sent thousands of letters to CMS raising concerns about these cuts and providing recommendations to address the problem. CMS has not responded.

We're now calling on Congress to prevent these cuts, which will reduce patient access and create instability in the health care system. Contact your Members of Congress today.

Equally important is communicating your opposition to CMS. APTA encourages all PTs, PTAs, physical therapy students, and patients to submit comments to CMS opposing the 9% cut.

Clinician and patient template letters to CMS are available via the APTA Regulatory Action Center under the header CMS Proposed 2021 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Rule.

PTs, PTAs, and students: Incorporate into your letter examples that illustrate how the cut will personally impact you, your business, and/or patient access.

Although the deadline for comments is not until October 5, 2020, the comments should be submitted to CMS as soon as possible. Please spread the word.

Questions? Contact APTA.


APTA Federal Advocacy

APTA provides a consistent lobbying presence with members of Congress, regulatory agencies, and commercial payers. Adding your voice strengthens our efforts. Learn about the advocacy issues that are affecting our profession and society, and then take action using one of the options below. Showing your support takes only minutes and can make a lasting impact. Click here for more information.

Join the APTA Advocacy Network

The APTA Advocacy Network (formerly PTeam) keeps APTA member advocates connected and engaged. Members participate for free and receive special legislative updates and action alerts when we need your voice. https://www.apta.org/advocacy/apta-advocacy-network

Medicare Fee Schedule Payment Reductions Advocacy

https://www.apta.org/advocacy/issues/medicare-physician-fee-schedule/fee-schedule-reductions

Legislation

8/31/2020 Student Loan Debt

APTA joined members of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) in a sign-on letter to Congressional leadership regarding the impact of COVID-19 and student debt on physical therapy students and young professionals. The letter asks Congress to consider additional student loan relief during the pandemic.


8/31/2020 Telehealth

Rep Nunes and his staff have written a bill including physical therapists as authorized providers for telehealth under Medicare. APTA staff has seen the draft and are hoping it will be introduced in October.

Representative Dean Phillips also introduced a telehealth bill that would mandate coverage for telehealth services for any face to face service covered by the health insurance plan. The reimbursement would be the same regardless of the mode of delivery.


8/31/2020 Proposed 9% Cut

Update: Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois submitted a letter to the congressional leadership requesting a 2-year waiver of budget neutrality, thereby delaying the proposed payment cuts. It was endorsed by 93 bipartisan members.

APTA is working with House Ways and Means staff and the Senate Finance staff to develop a legislative fix for the cuts.


Federal Legislation Updates

On 6/11/20, H.R. 7154: The Outpatient Therapy Modernization and Stabilization Act was introduced. This bill addresses the proposed Medicare fee schedule cuts, including the 8% cut for physical therapy services, provides for permanent provision of therapy telehealth services, reduces administrative burden by allowing either a referral or a certified plan of care for Medicare covered outpatient therapy services and provides a small increase to Medicare’s budget.


2021 Proposed 9% reimbursement cut for Physical Therapy Services

The proposed Medicare Physicians’ Fee Schedule released 8/3/20 retains reimbursement cuts for physical therapy services. Due to changes in the fee schedule formula, the previously proposed 8% cuts have been increased to 9%, despite extensive efforts by APTA to waive the fee schedule neutrality rules governing Medicare rate setting.

Please contact Congress NOW and urge them to prevent the deep cuts scheduled to take effect 1/1/2021! Take Action Now!

In addition, please direct patients and their families to voice their concerns via this link: Stop Therapy Medicare Cuts

State Legislation Updates