With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed ruling for the 2023 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule (PFS), healthcare providers – especially therapists and rehab professionals – continue to battle multiple budget cuts. In addition to proposed payment increases for E/M Codes, the 3% conversion factor (CF) increase from the 2022 ruling is set to expire at the end of the year, resulting in Medicare cuts for therapy and rehab.
Which Cuts Affect Rehabilitation Therapists, and How?
The proposed rule, first introduced in July 2022, includes a 4.42% cut to therapy providers, which is indicative of CMS’s intent to follow through with additional cuts that could lead to a 9.75% reduction in payment by 2024.
Other therapy-specific cuts include proposed reductions for remote monitoring codes, with some cuts as high as 40%. As a result, this would impact therapists’ abilities to use remote monitoring devices to gather non-physiological data pertaining to treatment progress and adherence.
If these proposals are implemented, these massive cuts may push accessible care out of medically underserved areas, reduce the quality of care delivered, as well as drive many physical, occupational, and speech therapy providers out of business.
Extended Telehealth Coverage For Therapy And Rehab
In addition to these cuts, telehealth coverage has been impacted as well. Rather than interim telehealth services lasting only until the end of the public health emergency (PHE), it has been proposed that coverage for these temporary services be extended for five months beyond the end of the PHE.
In contrast to this proposal, The House of Representatives has voted on a bill to extend Medicare telehealth to 2024, ensuring Medicare flexibilities until December 31, 2024. While these extensions are beneficial to therapists and their patients, the following organizations continue to advocate for more sustainable telemedicine policies:
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Overcoming Medicare Cuts: Advocacy and Physical Therapy
As a strategic partner with the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI), Raintree invites you to join us in urging CMS to stop new, deep cuts to physical therapy.
You can also check out these APTQI resources as well.