U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Jason Smith (R-MO) introduced the Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation and Therapy (SMART) Act of 2021 (H.R.5536), bipartisan legislation that would provide for a temporary legislative fix to a major portion of the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule cuts. The goal of the legislation is to protect beneficiary access to therapy services by mitigating the impact of the impending Medicare 15% payment differential for services furnished by physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) beginning on Jan. 1, 2022 by delaying the implementation date to January 1, 2023. (10/14/21)
NASL, along with the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies, submitted a letter to Capitol Hill regarding the 15% cut to services furnished by physical therapy assistants and occupational therapy assistants which is scheduled to take effect in January 2022. (8/3/21)
Reimbursement Slashes Cut Deeper for Rural, Small Therapy Providers, Amy Stulick, Skilled Nursing News, August 3, 2021. “Providers are already experiencing high costs as a result of COVID-19’s detrimental impact on the long-term care settings we serve,” says NASL. “These cuts join a current cascade of compounding reimbursement reductions that are detrimental to patient care.” (NASL President Martha Schram, NASL Medical Services Committee Chair Mike Capstick and NASL member Mark Besch are also quoted.)
The American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association released a joint statement strongly encouraging and recommending that all healthcare professionals obtain full COVID-19 vaccination status. AOTA went further to support mandatory vaccination for those working in health and long term care. (8/2/21)
AMA Table - CY 2022 PFS Proposed Rule Conversion Factor Impact.
AHCA/NCAL Issues Policy Statement Regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations of Long Term Care Personnel (7/29/21)
CMS issued four final rules for public inspection, each of which is effective on October 1, 2021, including:
NASL’s Summary and Analysis can be accessed here. (7/29/21)
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra extended the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency for an additional 90 days, to expire on Monday, October 18, 2021. The official HHS announcement is available here. (7/19/21)
Upon further review, some of CMS’s latest proposal isn’t so grand, James Berklan, Daily Editor’s Notes, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, July 16, 2021. “The devil’s in the details,” said Cynthia Morton about the doc fee proposal.
CMS’ Proposed 2% Medicare Rate Cut Keeps Therapy Providers in ‘Pretty Dire’ Straits, Jordyn Reiland of Skilled Nursing News, July 14, 2021. “A lot of our society looks to rehab therapy for a lot of things but with these continual reductions from CMS and Congress for no real reason, just trying to reduce what Medicare spends, it’s getting to the point now where it’s going to hurt access to care for beneficiaries,” said Cynthia Morton.
CMS surprises with therapy pay levels in 2022 Medicare physician fee rule, McKnight’s Long Term Care News, July 14, 2021. “It’s not looking too bad. It’s looking like CMS is not cutting all the specialties like they did in this current year,” said Cynthia Morton.
CY 2022 Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Provider Enrollment Regulation Updates; Provider and Supplier Prepayment and Post-payment Medical Review Requirements Proposed Rule was released. The public inspection document is available here; it is expected to be published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2021. The deadline for comments is September 13, 2021. View NASL's items of interest to members email here. (7/13/21)
COVID-19 dealt a devastating blow to nursing homes — don’t let looming cuts make it worse, Cynthia Morton, Executive Vice President, NASL, Guest Blogger, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, 7/12/21. For more information about the pending Part B cuts, click here.
The OIG released a report entitled, COVID-19 Had a Devastating Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries in Nursing Homes During 2020 (OEI-02-20-00490), a data snapshot showing the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Medicare beneficiaries in U.S. nursing homes in 2020 (6/22/21)
NASL files comments on SNF PPS Proposed Rule for 2022, Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities; Updates to the Quality Reporting Program and Value-Based Purchasing Program for Federal Fiscal Year 2022. (6/7/21)
Beginning August 2020, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) resumed post-payment reviews of items and services with dates of service before March 2020. MACs may now begin conducting post-payment medical reviews for later dates of service. 6/3/21
Observation Stays Bill Reintroduced. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) reintroduced the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2021 (H.R.3650), which would help Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized in observation by requiring that time spent in observation be counted towards meeting the three-day prior inpatient stay. (6/1/21)
The Biden Administration released its Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request, a blueprint of what the President seeks to accomplish with the FY 2022 federal budget.
US Senate Confirms Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as CMS Administrator. The final confirmation vote was 55-44. NASL looks forward to working with new CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure. (5/26/21)
Hear what our members say about NASL