Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

A Reason for Optimism

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Now that we can safely put away the inflatable Santa, stop hearing those annoying (but catchy) holiday jingles, and most importantly: avoid eggnog for 10 months, it’s time to wish everyone a Happy New Year and get you caught up to date on the latest legislative news coming out of Washington.  (more…)

Mr. Lantz Goes to Washington

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

In the film Mr. Smith goes to Washington, a young Jimmy Stewart fights entrenched establishment forces through a heroic filibuster and wins the day.  Needless to say, the end of Mr. Lantz goes to Washington is not so stirring.  However, my time spent with hundreds of honorable therapists fighting for common sense regulations and patient access was both rewarding and enlightening.

Having been to DC. before on behalf of the AOTA and APTA, this trip was different in the overall sense of optimism that far exceeded previous trips to the hill.  For one thing, the event was taking place in April, with the cherry blossoms vibrantly in bloom… a stark contrast to our Hill Day of 2011 which took place in a virtual July inferno.  The Federal Advocacy Forum was headquartered at the Liasion Hotel, a stylish and intimate spot, seconds away from the Capitol steps. (more…)

ACA Comes into Focus

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

It seems like we have been debating, analyzing, and hyperventilating over the Affordable Care Act, AKA: Obamacare, for an exhausting length of time.  You can then be forgiven for not  staying up on the contours of implementation and being unaware that it is only now that key parts of the law are going into effect.  The law continues to divide Americans but at least now we can start to judge it on concrete results instead of heated rhetoric.  Health and Human Services presented its final rules on 5 key provisions just last week. (more…)

Closing the Observation Stay Loophole

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Yesterday, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY unveiled the Introducing Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013.  Surrounded by seniors and medical officials at St. Peters Hospital in Albany, Schumer talked about the vital necessity of closing the “observation stay loophole”. The loophole is causing increasing amounts of seniors crippling out of pocket costs for essential therapy services.

Currently, Medicare covers the cost of rehabilitation treatments in SNF facilities after a 3 day stay in a hospital. Unfortunately, many seniors are getting coded as observation visits when staying in the hospital and Medicare is not allowing stays that do not include a surgery or a procedure to count towards qualifying for essential follow-up rehabilitation services.   (more…)

Heating up in DC

Monday, February 18th, 2013

heating up in dcThese days,  even the most seasoned political observers look on in bewilderment at the latest budget fights coming out of DC.    Sequesters, continuing resolutions, government shutdowns… PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!  The unfortunate reality is we can’t ignore all this gasbaggery, because all of it has very real consequences for our beloved therapy industry.

Now it looks as if we have some real movement on the defining issue of our legislative battles: Therapy Cap Repeal.  A quick primer:  arbitrary caps were placed on therapy services as part of the 1997 budget agreement.  It was obvious from the start that this was a seriously flawed policy that took essential patient care decisions out of the hands of those most qualified to make those decisions: physicians and patients. Thankfully, Congress recognized the harmful effects of this cap on services and put an exception into place virtually every year.   (more…)

Happy New Year

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

2013… Hello!  We bring in the new year with some genuinely good news on the legislative front with the 1 year extension of the therapy cap exception. We are still sifting over the details of the cliff deal and what it means for therapy so stay tuned for a more in-depth look at where we stand in the coming weeks.  Looking ahead we have the sequester arrangement expiring on March 1, when a decision will have to be made on military and domestic discretionary spending.  Let’s hope DEBT DEAL 2 the movie turns out better than most movie sequels.   (more…)

Where Do Things Stand?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Now that our long national grind of debates, cheesy television ads, and bloviating punditry(actually thats not going anywhere) is over, its time to assess the impact of the elections in regards to therapy and the larger healthcare world.  For those of you looking for clarity… it’s not going to be found here, as things remain murky and contentious in many areas.  The big news moving forward is at this point it is likely that the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act will be implemented in some fashion.  This includes the setting up of state exchanges, pre-existing conditions coverage, and the push for a full transition to online medical records in the near future.   (more…)

AOTA HILL DAY

Friday, September 21st, 2012

capital hill 2012

This coming Sunday and Monday I will be in Washington D.C for AOTA Capitol Hill Day.  The event will see over 500 OT practitioners, students, and professionals descend on our Capitol to educate lawmakers on the benefits of Occupational Therapy and gather support for meaningful legislation. (more…)

Special Guest Mandy Frohlich

Friday, July 20th, 2012

With the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the individual mandate and with it the Affordable Care Act, the therapy community and the larger healthcare world have been wondering: what comes next?  With new regulations, increased access, and big legislative battles still to come,  confusion reigns.  Today we are happy to welcome Mandy Frohlich, the Senior Director of Federal Affairs at the APTA.  Mandy is here to answer some legislative questions and talk a little bit about the APTA lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.  We thank Mandy for joining us here at Advanced Medical and as always, urge you to stay informed and get involved.

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Meet the AOTA

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Ryan at AOTALast week we explored the APTA, and its mission in representing thousands of physical therapy professionals. This week we turn our attention to the OT side, with a closer look at the AOTA. Bethesda, Md is a short drive northwest of Washington, DC and is home to Walter Reed Medical Center as well as the main campus for the National Institute of Health. Sitting amongst numerous headquarters for private and public organizations is the AOTA. (more…)