Medicare Cuts

Medicare Cuts

We would like to ask for your help with stopping the 9% cuts to Physical Therapy reimbursement slated to start in January of 2021 by Medicare. Private practice physical therapy clinics already operate on very small profit margins and with the rising costs of rent, payroll, supplies, etc. it could prove devastating across the nation if these proposed cuts move forward. Also, so you all know the reason for the proposed cuts to conservative management is to create a budget-neutral way to give a raise to primary care and pain management physicians. If you would like to learn more about the cuts here is a link to an article to learn more.

We have included 2 links below and some sample verbiage if you wouldn't mind helping by giving a response to both Medicate (CMS) and to our local congressmen we would greatly appreciate it. We appreciate each and every one of you and hope to continue the same quality of care we are able to currently for many more years to come!

To write to your local congressmen:

Click Here

To write to Medicare (CMS):

Click Here

Sample Letters

To congressman:

Thank you for your work, and the work of your colleagues, especially during this time of crisis. As you know, the pandemic is taxing every corner of our nation's health care system, and health care providers are working beyond their capacity to meet the needs of their patients. As your constituent, I am writing to ask you to prevent deep cuts to Medicare providers that are slated to take effect on January 1, 2021. Given the current instability in the health care system, now is not the time to reduce the payment to Medicare providers. This cut will impact patient access to care, put privately-owned companies in financial duress and reduce the ability to provide quality care, especially in rural and underserved areas.

In the 2020 final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, CMS included substantial cuts, effective January 1, 2021, to more than three dozen health care providers in order to increase payment for evaluation and management codes also called E/M codes, that primary care and pain management health professionals use. It is unclear as to why CMS would ignore all the research which demonstrates the effectiveness of physical therapy services in decreasing the burden on healthcare costs nation-wide and would give raises to healthcare providers that are not actively working to reduce healthcare costs. Physical therapy is able to decrease the cost of healthcare in a variety of ways which includes decreasing the need for prescription pain medication, decreasing the need for expensive and unnecessary surgical procedures, decreasing the need for recurrent injections that treat the symptom but not the cause of the patient's pain, decreasing the chance of long term disability and keeping people in the workforce, decreasing the risk of falls, decreasing re-admission to hospitals and short term care facilities, and working alongside patients to take active ownership in their own health.

Even after over 25,000 letters were sent to CMS explaining the crisis a rate cut would cause, CMS ignored the letters and proceeded on with the cuts. Currently, physical therapy is slated for a 9% cut, which on top of the current economic crisis, is unsustainable for the physical therapy profession and the patients we serve. These cuts are not only devastating for small health care businesses, which may be forced to close at a crucial time in our nation's health care crisis, but they will also negatively impact patient access to care.

As the cost to do business continues to increase a 9% decline in revenue will significantly impact the ability of practices to stay open. Since CMS did not reconsider its policy in the recently released 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, the only way to prevent these cuts from being implemented on January 1, 2021, is for Congress to intervene. I ask that in any upcoming and relevant legislation moving through Congress, you support inclusion of language that would waive budget neutrality for the E/M codes scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2021. Another idea would be to take a deeper look into the cost of prescription drugs. By renegotiating rates, money can be saved in this area alone to avoid cutting rehabilitation services. Further, would it be possible to find other areas of the Medicare budget to reduce the severity of the rate cut on rehabilitation providers? To reduce the payment to the only area of medical care that has been proven to reduce overall healthcare costs is to only cause an issue of increased medical costs in the future.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient access and therapy clinics has been swift and will have negative repercussions for years to come. Therapists, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities continue to struggle to stay open, particularly in rural and underserved areas. The cuts will cause small rural and privately owned practices to close. This will reduce access to care and further increase medical costs.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this issue. I look forward to your response.

For Medicare:

It is unclear as to why CMS would ignore all the research which demonstrates the effectiveness of physical therapy services in decreasing the burden on healthcare costs nation-wide and would give raises to healthcare providers that are not actively working to reduce healthcare costs. Physical therapy is able to decrease the cost of healthcare in a variety of ways which includes decreasing the need for prescription pain medication, decreasing the need of expensive and unnecessary surgical procedures, decreasing the need for recurrent injections that treat the symptom but not the cause of the patient's pain, decreasing the chance of long term disability and keeping people in the workforce, decreasing the risk of falls, decreasing re-admission to hospitals and short term care facilities, and working alongside patients to take active ownership in their own health.

Even after over 25,000 letters were sent to CMS explaining the crisis a rate cut would cause, CMS ignored the letters and proceeded on with the cuts. Currently, physical therapy is slated for a 9% cut, which on top of the current economic crisis, is unsustainable for the physical therapy profession and the patients we serve. These cuts are not only devastating for small health care businesses, which may be forced to close at a crucial time in our nation's health care crisis, but they will also negatively impact patient access to care.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient access and therapy clinics has been swift and will have negative repercussions for years to come. Therapists, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities continue to struggle to stay open, particularly in rural and underserved areas. The cuts will cause small rural and privately owned practices to close. This will reduce access to care and further increase medical costs.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this issue. I look forward to your response.

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