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Today, the US House of Representatives passed Senate Amendment to H.R. 4994 , the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 (by a vote of 409-2). This legislation would prevent the scheduled 25.5% Medicare payment cut to physical therapists and other health care providers paid under the physician fee schedule. The provision in the bill would reverse the scheduled Jan 1, 2011 reduction and extend the current Medicare payment rates through Dec. 31, 2011. The estimated cost of the provision is $14.9 billion over 10 years.

The bill also contains several Medicare extender provisions, including the extension of the therapy cap exceptions process and the 1.0 work floor of the geographical price cost index (GPCI) until Dec 31, 2011. In addition, the legislation would repeal the delay of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Resource Utilization Group – Version 4 (RUG-IV).

Senate Amendment to H.R. 4994 will be entirely paid for by reclaiming larger portions of individuals’ exchange subsidies, issued under health care reform, if they misreport their income. The US Senate passed this legislation last night and will now be sent to President Obama to sign into law.

*Note that Senate Amendment to H.R. 4994 did NOT include a provision on the multiple procedure payment reductions (MPPR) for outpatient therapy. Those reductions are still scheduled for January 1, 2011.

Source: American Physical Therapy Association.  Posted with permission.