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#9for9challenge

October 28th, 2020

If physical therapy has affected your life in a positive way, we need your help! An upcoming cut to Medicare payments has the potential to devastate the PT community and therapists’ abilities to provide care to those who need it. You can help by lending your voice to this incredibly important cause.

What’s going on?

Every year, CMS updates the Medicare program via changes to the physician fee schedule. Typically, these changes aim to reduce administrative burden, improve efficiency and care quality, and lower the cost of care. But, there’s a catch, CMS is bound by a law that requires its annual changes to be totally budget neutral. So, if CMS wants to give one specialty higher payments, then it must subtract that increase from another part of the budget (like physical therapy).

THE BOTTOM LINE…

Medicare is cutting physical therapy payments by 9% starting January 1, 2021. Roughly 35% of our patients are Medicare beneficiaries.

Yep—you read that correctly. In order to fund E/M payment increases for primary care providers, CMS is cutting payments for Part B physical (and occupational) therapy services by a whopping 9%.

The cut will do monumental damage—and it won’t be limited to Medicare. Care for military veterans will suffer. These cuts will make it impossible for many PTs to continue to provide care, creating physical therapy deserts in communities across the country.

To be clear, this is not a proposal. This change has already been finalized, and the reduction will kick in January 1, 2021. That’s why we need your help! By reaching out to our representatives is how you can help! Our federal congressional leaders, US Representatives, and Senators can temporarily suspend (or completely remove) CMS’s budget neutrality requirement. This would give CMS the ability to cancel the 9% cut without backpedaling on the E/M reimbursement hikes. 

Reach out to your federal representatives. 

Being an advocate isn’t wasted time. If you have 5 minutes, then you have time to advocate. 

Next…spread the word!

After sending your e-letter, join the #9for9Challenge by sharing this (share button at the top). Send or tag nine others to keep the momentum going. Together, we can spread the word!

Why This Matters

We should be encouraging access to physical therapy. It is care that can prevent falls, opioid use, costly procedures, and so much more! Instead, CMS (Medicare) is creating barriers. These cuts don’t make sense, especially during a pandemic! Thank you for being advocates!

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