Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Update for Calendar Year 2017
By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for developing, proposing, and finalizing regulations in order to implement health legislation that has been passed by Congress and signed into law. The regulatory process consists of publishing proposed rules and requests for information in order to allow for public review and to receive stakeholder input in the form of “comments.” On behalf of the over 4,200 members, the Private Practice Section (PPS) regularly analyzes and responds to regulatory initiatives that pertain to private practice physical therapy.
By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA, and Jerry Connolly, PT, CAE
Every two years, each seat in the House of Representatives and one-third of the one hundred U.S. Senate seats are up for election. The 115th Congress began on January 3, 2017, when all of the members of the House of Representatives and 34 U.S. senators were sworn in for their terms in office. This new Congress is the most diverse in history, with more minority lawmakers than ever before and a record 21 women in the U.S. Senate. There are 52 new members of the House of Representatives, and the House’s Republican majority was reduced by a dozen to 47. Republicans also hold the majority in the Senate with 52 members to the 46 Democrats and 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats. There are seven new senators, three of whom (Chris Van Hollen [D-MD], Tammy Duckworth [D-IL], and Todd Young [R-IN]) moved from serving their district in the House to representing their whole state in the Senate. While the GOP majority is smaller than in previous Congresses, the party still controls the floor and committee agendas in both chambers.
By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA, and Jerry Connolly, PT
Over the past two years your lobbyists utilized the Private Practice Section (PPS) legislative and advocacy priorities for the 114th Congress to guide PPS advocacy efforts. With these goals in mind, we cultivated and capitalized on the relationships we have built with members of Congress. Through these efforts and PPS member engagement, we have been able to advance legislation that seeks to remove barriers to access as well as improve the business opportunities and climate for private practice physical therapists. While our advocacy goals have not been fully attained, we can take pride in the progress that has been made. We look forward to building on these accomplishments in pursuit of our goals. In boldface in the following are the Section’s advocacy priorities for the 114th Congress that received the most attention and activity, along with a detailed explanation of the legislative and regulatory activity in pursuit of the PPS mission.
CMS Seeks to Expand Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model to Surgical Hip and Femur Fracture Treatment Episodes
By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) remains focused on regulations to move away from fee-for-service (FFS) and toward value-based payment systems. The first Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model was implemented this April. Then on August 2 CMS proposed an expansion of the current CJR bundling provisions for total hip (THA) and knee (TKA) arthroplasty to a model that will include Medicare beneficiaries undergoing surgical hip and femur fractures treatment (SHFFT) episodes.