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Senate and House Introduce Legislation to Repeal Therapy Caps
Date:1/7/2009

APTA Applauds Legislation Aimed at Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries Introduced on the First Day of 111th Congress

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physical therapy services for Medicare beneficiaries would no longer be limited by arbitrary financial caps under legislation introduced Tuesday in the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (S 46/HR 43) introduced by Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Mike Ross (D-AR), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) calls for the repeal of the Medicare therapy caps that limit coverage of outpatient rehabilitation services to $1,840 for physical therapy and speech language pathology combined and $1,840 for occupational therapy services.

"Therapy is necessary to effectively manage and confront many age-related diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson's, and congenital heart failure," said Ensign. "Every year in the Senate we debate this issue of therapy caps, and this year needs to be the last."

Becerra added, "Everyday, Americans who suffer from debilitating diseases like Parkinson's or are recovering from serious injury need medical therapy in order to reach their highest functional level. It is outrageous that in addition to focusing on their rehabilitation, they also have to worry about whether they will exceed Medicare's monetary caps. These arbitrary caps on physical, occupational and speech therapy are incompatible with the goal of recovering these patients' ability to function normally in their everyday lives."

The therapy caps were originally adopted by Congress in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The caps reduce beneficiaries' access to critical servi
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SOURCE American Physical Therapy Association
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