58-28 47th Ave Apt 2
Woodside, NY 11377
Hon. Representative Joseph Crowley
1436 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
September 18, 2013
Dear Hon. Joseph Crowley,
I’m a constituent and occupational therapy assistant student concerned with Medicare beneficiary access to occupational therapy services. I am writing to urge you to avoid further cuts to reimbursement for these services. Reimbursement for outpatient occupational therapy services has been reduced over the last two years by about 7% because of implementation of a 50% multiple procedure payment reduction. Also, because of sequestration, federal reimbursement for occupational therapy services has been reduced by 2%.
Some fourteen percent of those receiving rehabilitation services per year are estimated to exceed the arbitrary limit on coverage. Once the limit has been reached, beneficiaries who require additional services are on the hook for one hundred percent of the cost. Individuals with disabilities and senior citizens with significant medical needs will have to decide between getting treatment, changing providers, or paying 100% of the cost themselves. Beneficiaries who experience stroke, hip fracture, or who have Parkinson's Disease or Osteoporosis are most likely to be negatively affected by this arbitrary payment cap. Also, those beneficiaries who experience more than one episode of illness or injury in a twelve-month period would risk needing more therapy than that covered under the $1,900 payment limit.
As Congress considers legislation regarding the federal budget and Medicare, I urge you to avoid further cuts to payments for Medicare occupational therapy services. Additionally, I ask that you permanently repeal the hard cap on outpatient therapy services. I urge you to oppose any policy that would reduce beneficiary access to critical care. Thank you for your time and consideration regarding these issues.