Despite the fact the 2010 mid-terms are just weeks away, there are some highly technical matters related to optimizing seniors’ care that require immediate action — and which can hopefully gain the attention of Congress in a lame duck session.
The matter at hand is the need for CMS Administrator Don Berwick to withdraw a specific proposal contained in the Calendar Year (CY 2011) Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule before it is finalized on November 1, 2010.
The proposal, called the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR), would result in significant funding cuts to Medicare beneficiaries’ essential outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology services if therapies are provided on the same day. Withdrawing the proposal will help ensure that seniors receive the comprehensive therapies they need to return home to independent lives.
The MPPR proposal is based upon vastly incomplete data and patently ignores cost-efficiencies already in place. Federal policy should incentivize providers’ ability to offer multiple beneficial therapies to seniors, as these therapies make the critical difference in rehabilitation and quality of life.
Preserving access to quality care is a cornerstone principle of America’s healthcare system. 68 U.S. House members on both sides of the aisle have urged CMS to withdraw the MPPR proposal, as have 24 U.S. Senators.
As a matter of full disclosure, several clients support the need for CMS to withdraw the MPPR proposal, yet it makes imminent sense on an objective policy basis.