Providers must emphasize importance of therapy, advocate says

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Long-term care advocates must stress the importance of the therapy cap extension to the congressional supercommittee, a leading long-term advocate told McKnight's.

Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care, told McKnight's editor Jim Berklan that in light of the supercommittee's goals to trim $1.2 to 1.5 trillion from the budget, it is unlikely that they will extend the exception process beyond the looming Dec. 31 deadline. Morton noted, however, that Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), who is a member of the super committee, has been a champion on the therapy issue.

In light of CMS putting some of the blame of the 11.1% reduction in reimbursement on therapy companies, providers also need to work with CMS and step up educational efforts, too, Morton stressed.

“We need to take some steps back and really devise a strategy to help CMS understand the value of therapy in our patients' lives, and how therapy really helps patients get better and go home faster," Morton said. "And take it even a couple steps deeper and help the CMS personnel who have to write these regulations and have to write the payment rules, help them understand the provision of therapy on a daily basis: when therapy happens, when it doesn't happen, and why. I think that responsibility lies on our shoulders.”

Click on the video above to watch the full interview with Morton. Click here to read the transcript.