Hill Day 2011: Same Issues, But Bigger Challenges
Help repeal the Medicare therapy caps by joining your colleagues at AOTA’s annual Hill Day on Monday, September 19, as we storm the Capitol and make the voice of occupational therapy heard.
AOTA’s Federal Affairs team will be hosting a briefing at 8:30am in the Capitol Visitor Centers Auditorium to discuss issues related to the therapy caps and what to expect during visits, and to answer any questions. The visits will begin at 10:00 am. Also this year, a sponsored reception will follow the Hill Day visits.
Although AOTA succeeded in getting the bipartisan Therapy Cap bills introduced in the House and Senate in June, “lines in the sand” during budget debates will make it more challenging than ever to pass the bills or to continue the exceptions process to ensure access to occupational therapy.
If Congress fails to act and address the caps, it is estimated that in 2012 alone more than 640,000 Medicare beneficiaries would be denied access to rehabilitation services they need to live life to its fullest. Medicare will continue to cover services like knee replacements, but without appropriate therapy many patients will not completely recover. The long-term impact of continuing medical services for these patients would far outweigh the additional costs of providing appropriate therapy.
The current exceptions process, which ensures continued access to medically necessary rehabilitation, is set to expire on December 31, 2011. Without Congressional action this year a cap of $1,870 would be applied to occupational therapy and a separate cap of $1,870 would be applied to physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined.
We urge you to listen to AOTA’s Advocacy 101 and Beyond Podcast prior to Hill Day and to utilize AOTA’s Legislative Action Center for up-to-date information on legislative issues and the Advocacy Resources Page for additional information on Congressional meetings, navigating the Capitol, and what to expect during a Congressional visit.
The Hill Day Web page is being updated as we get additional information. Please contact AOTA’s Federal Affairs department at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to receive registration materials. See you in Washington!