Suspend therapy caps until budget package passes, Grassley urges

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Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has asked the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to suspend implementation of therapy caps until Congress passes the budget reconciliation package.

The caps, which were scheduled to take effect Sunday, place a limit of approximately $1,750 on combined speech and physical therapy and $1,750 on occupational therapy alone. The implementation of the caps ends a moratorium that was placed on the caps in 2003.

Before recessing for the holidays, the Senate passed a budget bill that would allow the $1,750 caps to take effect but also includes a provision for exceptions to the cap. Patients could apply for additional therapy services if the treatment is deemed medically necessary and expected to exceed the cap. The House has not yet passed the budget bill that includes this provision.

Beneficiaries could be hurt if the caps begin without this provision in the budget bill, Grassley said.