LTC Association Bemoans Pending Medicare Cuts

Some of the nation’s Medicare beneficiaries could see cuts in rehabilitation services next year under a new policy unveiled last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), according to the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL).

Medicare beneficiaries receiving therapy treatments in skilled nursing facilities and other post-acute facilities will be affected by the new multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) policy, which was released as part of the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The policy includes a 23% cut to Medicare physician fees and would cut payments when more than one therapy service is provided to a patient during a single day.

“The major concern for NASL and its members is that the MPPR policy will restrict therapy for residents in long-term care settings,” said NASL Executive Vice President Cynthia Morton.

Morton expressed disappointment that CMS decided to apply the MPPR policy to therapy services. “Therapy stakeholders made a powerful case that CMS needed to conduct a far more thorough analysis of what is involved in the provision of therapy services,” she said.

NASL said it would continue to work with CMS and other provider, clinical, and patient groups to modify this policy.

“We have had constructive discussions with CMS officials on this policy, and we hope to continue that dialog as we work to convince them that the MPPR policy is not a good fit for therapy,” Morton said.

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