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Congress Urged to Take Immediate Action to Ensure Frail Patients Continue to Receive Critical Therapy Services
Date:1/27/2010

ng Medicare beneficiaries to good health," stated Tommie L. Robinson, Jr. PhD, CCC-SLP, President of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). "Current law and its arbitrary ceiling for therapies limits access to care, and hinders Medicare beneficiaries' ability to recuperate."

According to the letter, Congress has repeatedly responded six times in the past to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from being negatively impacted by the therapy cap policy. This is a redundant task, organizational leaders said, that only temporarily resolves the issue, and ignores the need to permanently fix this problem for Medicare beneficiaries. While both the House and Senate versions of health care reform legislation addressed the therapy cap by expending the exceptions process for a short period of time, failure to enact reform has put beneficiaries who require rehabilitation after an illness or injury at considerable risk.

The letter also urges Congress to review options for repeal of the therapy caps as it prepares to modify its health care reform legislative proposal. Currently, Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have authored legislation to repeal the therapy caps, Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2009 (HR 43), which currently has one hundred and thirty cosponsors. A companion bill (S 46), introduced by Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), has twenty six cosponsors.

"We thank these Congressional champions for leading the fight in Congress to protect Medicare beneficiaries' access to critical rehabilitative services they need and deserve," stated Penelope Moyers Cleveland, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA, President of the American O
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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