Sarah Gassman Wilbanks
By now many of you have heard that the 2020 proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule (MPFS) contains substantial changes to how CMS previously proposed that the OTA modifier would be adopted in its 2019 MPFS proposed and final rules. These changes are concerning because they will affect how the 15% payment reduction is applied starting in 2022, as well as how the modifier must be reported to CMS beginning January 1, 2020, for record-keeping purposes.
Washington, DC — U.S. Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Jason Smith (R-MO), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced the Medicare Home Heath Flexibility Act (H.R.3127) in the House of Representatives, while Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Todd Young (R-IN) simultaneously introduced identical legislation in the Senate (S.1725). These bills would allow occupational therapists to open home health therapy cases under Medicare. Each of the Congressional champions serves on Congressional committees that will determine whether the legislation will be adopted as part of larger legislative packages that will be considered during this Congress.
AOTA worked with state associations to advocate for the bill and to thank each Senator and Representative for championing the legislation. Supporting groups include the Indiana Occupational Therapy Association, Maryland Occupational Therapy Association, Missouri Occupational Therapy Association, New York State Occupational Therapy Association, Texas Occupational Therapy Association, and West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association. AOTA issued a press release with quotes from each House and Senate champion, as well as releases to local media in each state to highlight Congressional action. Senators Cardin and Young also coordinated media releases to Indiana and Maryland publications in support of S.1725.
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