As part of the final 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule published in November, CMS finalized a plan to impose an estimated 8% reduction in payment for physical and occupational therapy services beginning in 2021. The reductions are driven by changes to reimbursement formulas for evaluation and management (E/M) services furnished by physicians and some other providers.
The scheduled cuts come on the heels of several payment reductions already affecting therapy providers including the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR), decreased reimbursement for CPT codes commonly used by therapists, and the looming 15% reduction in the fee schedule for services provided in whole or in part by physical and occupational therapy assistants in 2022.
These additional cuts are all the more concerning as access to therapy services continues to be increasingly important as the nation continues to confront a series of health challenges, including the opioid crisis and the epidemic of falls in the elderly population. Furthermore, data has shown physical therapy to be a cost-effective first intervention that improves outcomes and reduces spending, especially when utilized early in the treatment process.
Integrity Rehab Group is proud to be a part of the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) which is committed to advocating for legislative and regulatory changes on behalf of physical therapists and the physical therapy community. For more information including how you can help fight back against the cuts to the Medicare fee schedule, check out the APTQI’s policy agenda webpage.