Late last night, the Senate passed legislation to temporarily halt the 21% reduction in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and resume the therapy caps exceptions process. H.R. 4691, which passed in the House last week, was passed by the Senate through a vote of 78 to 19. This bill provides a short-term extension to the therapy caps exceptions process retroactive to January 1, 2010. The bill also extends the moratorium on the scheduled cut in the physician fee schedule. Both provisions are slated to expire on March 31, 2010. It is anticipated that President Obama will sign the bill later today.
Congress hopes to use this time to negotiate a slightly longer extension to expire at the end of 2010. ASHA, along with over 40 patient, consumer, and provider groups, participated in a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill thanking Congress for the short-term fix while shifting the focus to a long-term permanent solution for the therapy caps and physician fee schedule.
For more information regarding congressional action related to the therapy caps, please contact Stefanie Reeves by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.