Ever wonder whether your advocacy letters and calls make a difference? Last week an official at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) told AOTA, “tell your members we heard them loud and clear!”
AOTA launched a letter-writing campaign in June 2017 to express concerns that a proposed payment model for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) lacked safeguards to ensure clients would receive the OT services they need.
During a meeting last week with CMS to discuss the payment model, the official said, “I have a stack of letters from [your members] on my desk this tall,” and indicated at least 6" high. AOTA would like to thank everyone who submitted letters to CMS on this important issue.
AOTA attended the meeting with representatives from the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association.
The therapy groups agree with CMS that the current SNF payment system needs to be modified, but shared concerns and potential issues with the proposed model with CMS.
Some of the topics covered during the meeting included time for training and operational implementation of a new payment system; the importance of continuing to monitor data for therapy mode, minutes, and discipline; capturing mild cognitive impairment in assessment data and including mild cognitive impairment in the model; the importance of maintenance therapy for Medicare beneficiaries; incorporating the IMPACT Act in the new model; and more. Read more about our concerns with the proposal.
AOTA volunteers and staff worked hard to prepare for the meeting to make the most of the opportunity to speak directly to CMS about our concerns. CMS officials appreciated that the therapy groups provided ideas and suggestions for improving the model.
Next time you question whether your voice matters, remember that you can only be heard if you speak up. Inspired to take action? Check out our Legislative Action Center for ways to advocate right now.