Physical therapists and other health care providers who receive payment under the Medicare physician fee schedule will continue to be paid at the existing 2.2% Medicare payment update through December 31.

The Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act (PPTRA) of 2010, recently signed into law, codifies a modification of the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) finalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in November by applying a 20% reduction, rather than the 25% reduction in the final physician fee schedule rule, to the practice expense component for the second and subsequent outpatient therapy services.

The savings would not be distributed on a budget neutral basis as in the final rule, but will be used instead as savings to offset the extension of the 2.2% update. The MPPR policy will go into effect January 1, 2011.

Efforts are under way to try to avoid the January 1, 2011, sustainable growth rate payment cut, which is projected at 25.5%.

[Source: American Physical Therapy Association]