Letter urges Congress to extend therapy caps exceptions process

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A coalition of 32 healthcare-related organizations, including the two major nursing home organizations, is imploring lawmakers to immediately reinstate the exceptions process for Medicare Part B outpatient therapy caps.

Without such action, thousands of Medicare beneficiaries will exceed caps on physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services, according to a letter sent to congressional leaders. The exceptions process expired at the end of December. The caps are set at $1,860 for combined physical and speech pathology therapy, and $1,860 for occupational therapy.

Beyond extending the exceptions process, Congress needs to find a permanent solution for the therapy caps dilemma, according to the organizations. Congress has responded six times to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from being negatively impacted by the therapy caps policy, they say. The letter also urges Congress to review options for repeal of the therapy caps as it prepares to modify its healthcare reform legislative proposal.
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