Lawmaker, Health Groups Oppose Medicare Caps For Physical Therapy

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Medicare Caps For Physical Therapy

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Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) on Wednesday at a news conference sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association promoted a bill that would eliminate funding restrictions for Medicare beneficiaries who undergo physical therapy, the Las Vegas Review-Journalreports. Medicare reimburses the first $1,780 of physical therapy,after which beneficiaries must apply for an exception, which only isauthorized until the end of this year, the Review-Journal reports.

Ensign, who was appointed in July to the Senate Finance Committee,co-sponsored the bill in January with 33 other lawmakers, including 20Democrats. At the conference, Ensign said, "Know that you have a friendon the Senate Finance Committee now."

In the House, Rep.Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) has introduced a similar bill, which has 178co-sponsors. Stephanie Mohl, ASA's government relations manager, in astatement said, "Effective post-stroke rehabilitation can preventfuture health complications, improve recovery and allow patients tolive independently, all of which may ultimately save Medicare money"(Batt, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/1).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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