American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
February 26, 2010

Congress Fails to Meet Deadline

Reductions in Fee Schedule Take Effect March 1

On Monday, March 1, the Senate is expected to consider House-passed legislation (H.R. 4691) that would temporarily extend the moratorium on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implementation of the drastic cuts to Medicare Part B payment. The legislation would also allow CMS to implement the therapy cap exceptions process through March 31, 2010, and make the exceptions process retroactive to January 1. Several Senators have expressed concern with the bill as it does not meet the Senate's pay-as-you go rules which require finding financial off-sets in other programs. Therefore, it is unclear if the bill will pass in the Senate. The House of Representatives passed the legislation on February 25.

The current freeze on Medicare Part B payments expires on February 28. The financial limitation on outpatient therapy services has been in effect since the beginning of the year.

For more information on the legislative activities related to the therapy caps, please contact Stefanie Reeves, ASHA's Director of Political Advocacy, at sreeves@asha.org. To learn more about the implementation of the therapy caps, visit ASHA's Therapy Cap Advocacy Center.


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