Purpose Statement: The Coalition to Preserve Patient Access to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services supports access to quality health care and therapy services for Medicare beneficiaries. It also supports allowing physician choice of health care professionals to provide those therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries while under a physician’s supervision in his/her office. These are billing situations know as “incident to.” The Coalition supports a legislative solution and change in CMS policy to what is known as the “therapy-incident to” problem.
New! Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns Introduces
Medicare Access to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1846)
Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY) introduced the Medicare Access to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1846) on March 29, 2007. The passage of the Act will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have better access to quality health care provided by state licensed or certified health care professionals. All health care professionals who are represented by the Coalition will be positively affected by the passage of this legislation.
Rep. Towns has strongly demonstrated his leadership and commitment to ensuring that the health care needs of Medicare patients are met with this Act. He recognizes that it is important for patients to receive physical medicine and rehabilitation services quickly in order to prevent further injury and promote cost savings to Medicare. He also recognizes that physicians are the best qualified to determine the type of therapy treatments prescribed.
Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY) introduced a very similar bill in the 109th Congress, S. 3963 The Access to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services Improvement Act. Reintroduction of this bill is pending.
The Medicare Access to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services Improvement Act’s goals are threefold:
1. Improve patient access to quality health care by ensuring that Medicare patients have access to the medically appropriate health care professionals, and that the physicians’ practices will receive payment for covered services delivered under the supervision of a physician.
2. Allow physicians to decide which state-authorized or certified health care professionals have the requisite education and training to provide quality, cost-effective physical medicine and rehabilitation services to their patients. Physicians are the most knowledgeable and qualified people to decide who is best able to provide therapy and other services to Medicare patients.
3. Reduce expenses to the Medicare system by providing services in the most cost-effective methods.
For more information, contact NATA at nata.org.
The Coalition to Preserve Patient Access to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is comprised of 24 healthcare organizations representing a wide range of health professionals, medical specialties and patients cared for under those specialties. The Coalition's goal is to reverse the therapy-incident to rule, which needlessly restricts Medicare beneficiaries' access to quality therapy and the ability of physicians to deliver care to the best of their abilities.
The Coalition calls on Congress to restore the ability of physicians to direct medical care for their Medicare patients by either directing CMS to restore the original interpretation of the therapy-incident to or revise the rule by writing legislation that will override CMS' most recent interpretation of who can provide therapy-incident to.