In recent comments submitted in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s policy options document issued on April 29, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va, has recommended that health care reform expand the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative to physical therapists in all Medicare part B settings; eliminate exceptions to the Stark II statute; implement programs that include care coordination payments for patients with high-cost, chronic illnesses; repeal the therapy cap; and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate portion of the conversion factor for Medicare payments to help ensure PTs can meet the growing needs of the nation’s patients, according to APTA.  

Addressing the committee’s efforts to reduce hospital readmissions, APTA expressed its concern about the rationale for distributing bundled payments for post-acute care services to acute-care facilities to manage as outlined in the proposal. "… a bundling proposal may have merit in the future, but far too many questions exist for this to be implemented on a widescale basis at this point," APTA noted. "APTA would support incentive payments for reducing hospital readmissions as an initial policy option."

The full comments, which also address health information technology and workforce issues, are available at APTA’s Health Care Reform Resource Center.  

Click here to view the committee’s "Transforming the Health Care Delivery System: Proposals to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Health Care Costs" policy document.

[Source: APTA]