More than 700,000 people suffer from a stroke each year in the United States. Nearly one million people will be living with Parkinson’s disease in the U.S. by 2020, with an additional 60,000 being diagnosed each year. Many of these individuals, as well as those recovering from physical injuries, require rehabilitation services to regain their independence and attain the best possible quality of life. In 1997, an amendment was introduced in Congress that capped these therapy services for Medicare patients at an arbitrary monetary level, putting the necessary treatment of a significant number of patients at risk.
Recognizing the threat of the Medicare cap on patients and their rehabilitation, the American Occupational Therapy Association Inc. (AOTA), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) quickly assembled a grassroots initiative to repeal the monetary cap in Medicare therapy services. In 2018, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which eliminated the monetary cap on outpatient physical therapy services under Medicare Part B.
Repealing the cap on therapy services was critical for the more than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries who utilized therapy services in a calendar year. Without the repeal, health care coverage would have been disrupted or discontinued for these vulnerable patients, thus limiting their ability to lead independent lives with the highest function possible and resulting in a decline in independence, increased hospitalization, and significant economic and personal costs.
Did you know?
More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries utilize rehabilitation therapy services in a calendar year.
American Occupational Therapy Association Inc. (AOTA)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)