3 Minute OT Advocacy Challenge
As you may know, Medicare is proposing to cut occupational, physical and speech therapy reimbursement on January 1st, 2021 by 9% in order to give a raise to primary care physicians and others while staying budget neutral.
AOTA, APTA, and ASHA strongly oppose this.
Here is the ask:
Please take the 3 minute advocacy challenge to tell Congress that creating barriers to therapy during COVID and during a national Opioid crisis is not okay. It is also not okay to decrease reimbursement to providers who deliver drug and opioid-free effective care to give a raise to prescribing providers. Therapy practitioners cannot withstand the cuts required to keep the budget increases neutral. Changes must be made to protect therapy services.
This change also addresses the continuation of telehealth after the public health emergency ends. Medicare states that it may be confusing to add the therapy codes permanently because, after the emergency ends, therapists will no longer have the statutory authority to bill telehealth services to the Medicare program. Unless legislation is passed to allow therapy practitioners to perform telehealth on a permanent basis, these codes would only be billable to telehealth -eligible providers, such as physicians.
Make your voice heard – the time is to act now.
There are many opportunities and links below to follow to share your concerns. Please take the 3 minutes and provide information to CMS and your legislators!!
AOTA has a number of ways OTs can join in on the advocacy work AOTA has been doing: https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Federal-Reg-Affairs/News/2020/Ways-to-Fight-Medicare-Proposed-Cut.aspx?promo_name=fight-medicare-cuts&promo_creative=Advocacy-Policy&promo_position=hero
This link contains information on the cut and links to AOTA’s template letter (https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Federal-Reg-Affairs/News/2020/against-2021-therapy-cuts.aspx) as well as a video on how to comment on the proposed fee schedule (https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Federal-Reg-Affairs/News/2020/How-To-Comment-Proposed-Fee-Schedule.aspx).
OTs can also use this link to write to their Senators and Representatives: https://cqrcengage.com/aota/home?0
Thank you for advocating for the profession!
Denise Behrends, IOTA Legislative Chair
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We know many of you have been having difficulties with Medicaid and wanted to provide you with some resources for more information.