PPS Advocacy in 2017

The White House

A wild ride in Washington, D.C.

By Jerry Connolly, PT, CAE

It’s been a wild ride in Washington during the first eight months of the 115th Congress and the Trump administration.

Advocacy at Home

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Congress takes the job to their home districts.

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA

It’s August! For many that means a long-awaited vacation. For members of Congress it’s when they return to their home districts for the August recess. Although they are not in session in Washington, DC, from July 31 through Labor Day, the term recess is a misnomer, which is why it is officially called the “at-home work period.” This is because your legislators are going to be criss-crossing the district and meeting with constituents. You should expect your lawmakers and their staff to be available to discuss issues that are important to you as a private practice physical therapist.

Regulatory Changes for 2017

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Quality Payment Programs

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA

As you know, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for developing, proposing, and finalizing regulations in order to implement health care–related legislation that has been passed by Congress and signed into law. On behalf of the more than 4,200 members of the Private Practice Section, PPS regularly analyzes and provides stakeholder input in the form of “comments” to proposed rules that pertain to private practice physical therapy.

Regulatory Changes for 2017

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Bundled Payment Program

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA

As you know, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for developing, proposing, and finalizing regulations in order to implement health care–related legislation that has been passed by Congress and signed into law. The regulatory process consists of publishing proposed rules for public viewing and requesting stakeholder input in the form of “comments.” On behalf of our over 4,200 members, the Private Practice Section (PPS) regularly analyzes and responds to regulatory activity that pertains to private practice physical therapy.

In recent years, payment for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries has been moving away from the standard fee-for-service model and toward payment on the basis of quality; therefore, regulatory proposals relevant to the practice of and payment for physical therapy care have been increasing in number and complexity. This year three such rules will go into effect. In the March issue of Impact, this column covered the changes in the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), which resulted in payment adjustments for care provided by physical therapists and other providers who are paid under the fee schedule. In this column, I will discuss the planned expansion of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundling program and the impact this policy could have on physical therapists in private practice.

Reconciliation Explained

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The best option for making changes to the ACA?

By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA

The word of the year for health care policy is reconciliation. This special legislative procedure has been used for decades to pass controversial legislation with a simple majority vote in each chamber of the US Congress. Using standard legislative procedure, a divisive issue such as health care reform or repeal legislation would likely be bogged down and effectively sidelined. This is because, under regular order, the Senate allows for unlimited debate, known as the filibuster, which can be used to block legislative action. While Republicans currently have the majority in both houses of Congress, their 52-48 majority in the Senate is insufficient to assemble the 60 votes commonly needed to cut off debate and pass legislation. Therefore, the Republican party and the White House are now seeking to use reconciliation—a complicated yet useful tool—to pursue the passage of health care legislation that would otherwise not succeed in the Senate.

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