Providers to press lawmakers for lengthier 'fixes' for therapy caps, doc pay issues

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LeadingAge will be administering “call-in” days to Congress next Thursday and Friday to lobby lawmakers for favorable funding consideration. Shortly before Christmas, legislators approved a two-month patch for Medicare physician pay and Part B therapy caps “fixes.” Now it's time for them to agree on longer-term solutions — and, providers hope, pay for them without harming long-term care funding. Officials at LeadingAge are calling on stakeholders of all kinds to rally support for the cause.

They are asking supporters to call (855) 218-2109 (and follow the corresponding prompts) to register their wishes with their respective lawmakers.

The group has also issued this proposed script to read to lawmakers and their key personnel:

“I am calling about the payroll tax and Medicare payment legislation that is in conference. Please continue the exceptions process for therapy caps. The frail elders I serve are depending on you to protect their ability to receive the full amount of therapy they need to help them recover from serious injury or illness.

“However, I am concerned with proposals to reduce payments to nursing homes as pay-fors for this legislation. One proposal will reduce the amount Medicare pays nursing homes when states do not fully pay the co-pay for dually eligible Medicare/Medicaid patient's stay.  Nursing homes cannot recover the difference in payment from the states. Nursing homes have already had their Medicare payments reduced by over 11% for fiscal 2012, and cannot afford additional cuts, especially since most states are also reducing Medicaid payments.”

For the latest updates on this lobbying effort, click here.