June 25, 2008
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) hailed passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (HR 6331) by the House of Representatives as a significant step forward for seniors and persons with disabilities and encouraged the Senate to quickly follow suit.
HR 6331 includes provisions for physical therapists and their patients, including legislation to avoid the pending 10.6 percent cut in payments under the Medicare physician fee schedule as well as the expiration of the therapy cap exceptions process on July 1. The House passed this legislation by a 355-59 vote. The legislation will now go to the Senate for consideration.
“We applaud the House for taking the right steps forward to protect the millions of Medicare patients receiving needed physical therapist services,” says APTA President R Scott Ward PT, PhD. “We now urge the US Senate to take action to address the therapy caps issue and prevent serious cuts that could jeopardize beneficiaries’ access to care.”
Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.