The federal government has enacted a 9% cut in Medicare Reimbursement starting January 2021. What this means is that many healthcare providers will be paid LESS than the costs for administering that care. Many providers will drop out because they will no longer be able to afford to treat the medicare population.
What that means for you is that there will be fewer providers to choose from. You will wait longer for care. You will have less time with your providers. You may be discharged before you reach an acceptable outcome on recovery. All of these facts, and more, will ultimately increase the costs associated with care because of poor outcomes, higher rates of complications and secondary problems developing, and inefficient, ineffective, and overburdened providers trying to serve a larger population of patients.
HELP US ADVOCATE FOR YOU!! Below are instructions, links to resources, and even the letter you can use to send to your government officials.
Patient Advocacy Letter
Replace all the RED sections below with the pertinent information (e.g., replace “Date” with the current date). To find your local congressional representatives’ contact information, refer to the following instructions.
Find Your Local Representatives’ Mailing Addresses
Don’t know how to contact your local government representatives—or not even sure who they are this year? No worries! Follow the instructions below to determine who you need to contact and how to send ’em a message they can’t ignore.
To determine who your state’s senators are, navigate to the Senate directory: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Once you access the directory, select your state from the dropdown circled below.
The directory will then display your senators’ names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and links to their digital correspondence forms.
To find your local representatives, navigate to the government’s representative finder, and enter your zip code: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
After you’ve determined who your local representatives are, search for their names in the official Directory of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives
The directory will provide you with each representative’s full name, office room (which you can turn into a mailing address), phone number, and website link.
How To Turn an Office Room Number Into an Address
The Office Room column will list a number and then either CHOB, LHOB, or RHOB. These are abbreviations for:
- Cannon House Office Building (CHOB),
- Longworth House Office Building (LHOB), and
- Rayburn House Office Building (RHOB).
You can send your mail directly to this room number and building—so, after you expand the abbreviations, all you need to do is add a city and district (Washington, DC) and a zip code (20510).
For example, if you wanted to send a letter to Representative Tom O’Halleran, you would address the envelope and letter like this:
Office of Representative Tom O’Halleran
324 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Delete this page and the prior pages before sending your letter.
City, State ZIP
To the Honorable Senator/Representative Name:
I am writing to express my concern about the upcoming changes to the Medicare program that could prevent me from accessing the rehabilitative therapeutic care that I need to function in my day-to-day life.
Instructions: In this section, explain who you are and why physical or occupational therapy is critical to maintaining or improving the quality of your life.
In the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, CMS finalized substantial payment cuts to more than three dozen healthcare specialties in order to increase payments for services that are provided by primary care professionals. Despite the economic crisis that threatens healthcare organizations across the country, CMS has chosen to move forward with these cuts, and they are slated to take effect on January 1, 2021. Specifically, physical and occupational therapy payment rates will fall by 9% come the new year.
These cuts could prevent me, a patient, from accessing the care that I need to maintain and improve my quality of life. CMS’s decision to reduce rehab therapy payment rates by 9% during an economic crisis could run many clinics out of business—especially in rural and underserved areas and areas with a high density of Medicare patients. Additionally, payment cuts of this caliber could make therapists reluctant to treat Medicare patients despite our undeniable need for these services.
Because CMS has chosen to move forward with these payment cuts in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, Congress must intervene. Currently, CMS is bound by a budget neutrality requirement. If Congress waives the budget neutrality requirement for these upcoming payment changes, then CMS will be able to award primary care professionals the payments they deserve without unfairly burdening other types of providers—and potentially crippling entire sectors of the healthcare system.
Please consider including language that will waive CMS’s budget neutrality requirements in any relevant and upcoming legislation. This action could save the physical and occupational therapy industries from suffering an enormous economic fallout that will prevent patients like myself from easily accessing necessary care for years to come.
Thank you for your time.
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number