Proposed Medicare Physician-Payment Cuts Will Also Hit Physical Therapists in Denver

If the government cuts Medicare payments to physicians, as has been threatened for years, CCWC will be affected as well. The legislation would encompass other healthcare providers, including physical therapists.

The move to reduce the federal healthcare program’s reimbursement to providers by more than 21% is intended as a cost-saving action, as Medicare hovers on the brink of insolvency and the first wave of 78 million baby boomers reaches eligibility age. Each time the Medicare payment cut has loomed, Congress has postponed its enactment and even allowed providers small increases in their fees. However, the proposed fee schedule issued June 25 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contains a 6.1% cut to provider payments.(1)

If these cuts take effect, Cherry Creek Wellness Center (CCWC) will not be able to continue to treat Medicare patients. “The lower reimbursement will not cover our costs of care,” says Dean Hasse, PT, ANMT, president and owner of CCWC. “We simply cannot afford to treat patients at those rates.” CCWC would join a long list of physical therapy providers, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and others that could not accept reduced reimbursement. The Medicare fee cut to providers threatens seniors’ access to a wide spectrum of care.

CCWC therapists, along with hundreds of thousands of other U.S. healthcare providers, anxiously await the government’s decision on Medicare payment rates.

(1) American Physical Therapy Association. Medicare Updates: June 26, 2010: 2011 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule Contains Proposed Pay Cuts for Outpatient Therapy.
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