Occupational therapy has a lot of issues on the table in Congress this year. Although advocacy is always important, it is especially important right now!
Why? Because every two years Congress starts over. We are currently in the 117th Congress and starting in January we will start the 118th Congress. If you need a quick refresher on how Medicare law is made, check out this podcast or article.
A new Congress is significant because any bill that isn’t passed before the end of the year has to be re-introduced in the 118th Congress. So all the progress we made start over to a certain extent.
Although healthcare policy and our lives can often feel out of our control, this is a time where we can have an impact! We need to work together to push this legislation through! I’ve got a variety of ways you can take in this info. I’ve linked a video and podcast for you below, and of course you can read this article!
So, let’s dive in and check out the issues facing the profession below (some great and some not so great). Plus, don’t forget to share this information with a friend or five so they can take action too!
Medicare Part B Therapy Cuts & Pay-Go Cuts
Occupational therapy is facing a potential 4.5% reduction in reimbursement under Medicare Part B from adjustments to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. This 4.5% reduction is in addition to the pay-go, which is a 4% cut in reimbursement to Part A and B.
The good news, is that most likely the 4% pay-go will be waived and Congress is looking at legislation to mitigate the cuts from the Physician Fee Schedule. However, we will continue to be advocating for permanent reform of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Take action on the pay cuts HERE.
- AOTA: 5 ways to fight cuts to therapy services
- AOTA: Congress takes first steps to address Medicare cuts
- AOTA Capital Report: Preserving payments for OT services under Medicare Part B
OTA/PTA Payment Differential
Private Practice OTA Supervision
Medicare currently requires direct supervision for occupational therapy assistants and physical therapy assistants in private practice.
This supervision requirement is stricter than 49 states and devalues the skills of OTAs and PTAs.
The SMART Act has a provision to repeal the direct supervision requirement and change it to general supervision to match every other practice setting requirement under Medicare.
Contact your legislators about the SMART Act HERE.
Allied Health Workforce Diversity
Take action and contact your legislators about the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act HERE.
What You Can Do:
Take Action! Take Action today to tell your legislators that we need need to pass legislation before the end of the year addressing these cuts and other important issues. While AOTA is lobbying on our behalf, legislators really want to hear from you!
Fortunately, AOTA makes it easy through the Take Action page.
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- AOTA Take Action Home Page
- AOTA: Nine policies affecting OT may see end-of-year Congressional action
- AOTA: Report on bipartisan “SMART Act” will help pave the way for Congressional action
- Amplify OT: Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Cuts Part B OT Services
- Amplify OT: How Medicare Law is Made and What You Can Do
- Click here to view a video presentation on 2022 Fall Advocacy Issues
- AOTA Legislative Action Center
- AOTA Advocacy
- Information on AOTPAC