American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Congress Poised to Act on SGR; 30 Days Remain to Prevent a Hard Cap on Therapy in 2014

(December 2, 2013)

The Medicare therapy cap exceptions process expires on December 31. Without Congressional action, a hard cap will be placed on outpatient therapy services in 2014. ASHA is working with the Therapy Cap Coalition to urge Congress to stop kicking the can down the road and permanently fix the Medicare therapy cap in the SGR reform package this year. The Senate has scheduled an Executive Session for December 12 to discuss the SGR repeal—make sure they hear from you to include the therapy cap in the reform package before then!

E-mail Your Legislators TODAY and remind them that they have 30 days to permanently fix the Medicare therapy cap or, at the very least, extend the exceptions process. Write Congress here!

Call Your Legislators TODAY through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or use ASHA's Take Action site to find your elected official's office phone numbers.

Talking Points

  • Ask your legislators to include a full repeal of the Medicare therapy cap in the SGR reform legislation that is being drafted by the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees.
  • Remind your legislators that the flawed SGR formula and the therapy cap were created together in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Since 1997, Congress has repeatedly addressed the SGR formula and the therapy cap together through annual extensions in the SGR/Medicare extenders package. If Congress passes legislation addressing the SGR formula, but does not include a repeal of the Medicare therapy cap, it is very likely that patients will face a hard cap on outpatient therapy services in 2014.
  • Ask your legislators to extend the therapy cap exceptions process for a minimum of 1 year, if Congress does not complete a permanent fix of the SGR and therapy cap. 
  • Remind your legislators that a hard cap disproportionally impacts Medicare beneficiaries who need therapy services the most.
  • Ask your legislators to show their support for addressing the therapy cap and protecting patient access to rehabilitation by cosponsoring the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 713/S. 367).

You can also get involved on Facebook and Twitter. Change your profile picture to the Stop the Therapy Cap logo today (posted on ASHA Advocacy) and ask your legislators to #StopTheTherapyCap on Facebook and Twitter.

Urge your members of Congress to fix the cap once and for all. Take action TODAY to help preserve access to outpatient therapy in 2014!

Resources

For more information on this issue, please visit ASHA's Therapy Cap Advocacy Center or view ASHA's issue brief on the Medicare Outpatient Therapy Cap. Please contact Ingrida Lusis, ASHA's director of federal and political advocacy, at ilusis@asha.org with questions.


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