CMS decides not to extend therapy caps exemptions process

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CMS decides not to extend therapy caps exemptions process
CMS decides not to extend therapy caps exemptions process
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday told the long-term care community it will not extend the therapy caps exceptions process, which expired Monday. As a result, many residents now will be subject to financial caps on Part B outpatient therapy.

At least one organization-the American Health Care Association-met with CMS in the late afternoon Monday to discuss extending the exceptions process through the Fourth of July weekend. CMS earlier announced that it would delay for 10 days the implementation of a 10.6% cut in Medicare physician pay. Like the onset of the full therapy caps, the physician pay cut was scheduled to go into effect today. The physician pay-cut delay will give lawmakers the chance to pass legislation that will further delay the pay cuts for 18 months.

In a letter to Congress, CMS said it is willing to work with legislators, healthcare providers and Medicare beneficiaries to avoid any disruption in physician and non-physician payments. The agency has instructed its Medicare contractors not to process any claims received within the first 10 business days of July.

The Senate, which failed to pass the Medicare extensions act before adjourning for the Fourth of July holiday, will reconvene on July 7. If it passes a Medicare bill, the physician pay cuts and the implementation of therapy caps will be delayed for at least 18 months.