Trump Cuts Medicare

Trump plans to cut Medicare reimbursement for therapy services including physical, occupational and speech-language in nursing homes. This affects therapists providing services for residents in skilled nursing facilities. Skilled Nursing News wrote an article about Trump’s proposed fee schedule. Physical and occupational therapy providers, and speech-language pathologists and audiologists are facing a 7% to 9% cut to payments.

Under the proposed fee schedule, Trump would cut Medicare reimbursement 9% for physical therapy and occupational therapy. The agency proposed the cuts to increase payments to physicians. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) “strongly oppose” the cuts. Cynthia Morton is executive vice president for the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care (NASL).

“Right now, we’re struggling to find therapists,” she said. “We want to keep people safe. We’ve been trying to, in many instances, utilize telehealth in order to keep the avenue of access open to patients, to keep services flowing to get them better. This cut is going to make that very, very difficult. CMS … as far as we can tell, hasn’t really taken into account that nursing facilities bill the majority of PT and OT and speech therapy codes. Of all the settings that bill Part B therapy, nursing facilities bill the most.”