Providers putting new hope in bills to repeal Part B therapy caps

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Provider advocates are pushing with new vigor to see the elimination of the Medicare Part B therapy caps. Two new bills before Congress would repeal the caps, which have plagued providers off-and-on for several years.

Senators and representatives introduced the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007 (S 450 and HR 748) earlier this month. Past bills with similar intent have not been successful. Currently, an exceptions process, which expires at the end of 2007, allows some patients to receive therapy beyond the fixed limits.

Current law limits Medicare coverage of outpatient therapy services in 2007 to about $1,780 for physical therapy and speech therapy combined, and about $1,780 for occupational therapy. Some residents must forego therapy, or physically transfer to another setting to receive services that are not bound by the cap.
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