The following message went out to all AOTA members this morning. Look for more coverage of the therapy cap repeal over the next few days.
This morning the President signed into law a permanent repeal of the cap on Medicare outpatient therapy services. After 20 years of looming threat, the therapy cap will never again put beneficiaries at risk for being denied essential occupational therapy services.
Many of you have seen firsthand the devastating effects that a cap on occupational therapy services can have on the clients we serve. Like some of you, I lost my job when the cap first took effect in 1999. Today, because of you, this policy is no more! Over the years, you have written hundreds of thousands of letters to tell Congress to stop the cap. You have placed thousands of phone calls to tell Congress why occupational therapy is essential for our clients.
Because of your membership, AOTA was able to lobby and gather critical data that pushed the therapy cap over the finish line. Last year AOTA commissioned a study that demonstrated the positive impact of the current medical review process on patient access and overall costs. This information was instrumental in developing a bipartisan compromise for a permanent repeal. Your membership allowed AOTA policy staff to work with Congress to draft the repeal legislation and ensure Medicare beneficiaries can have access to occupational therapy when they need it.
Our profession has faced many challenges over the years, and there will be more ahead. Some new challenges were introduced in this same bill. For today, we must celebrate the end of a senseless policy that threatened the health and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries and our profession for 20 years.
Thank you for your membership, and thank you for your advocacy.
Amy Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA
For more information on provision included in Budget bill:
Permanent repeal of the Medicare therapy cap
Home Health changes for therapy
Changes to Medicare reimbursement for occupational therapy assistants