The year is coming to a close, as is the end of the 116th Congress. This is a time of high stakes which also means a time of a flurry of advocacy opportunities.
You will be receiving requests from PPS and APTA to reach out to your Members of Congress and ask them for help. Here’s an email template to use (or to cut down for when you call the office instead) and list of what we are working for, in order of priority:
As you consider what should be included in the next legislative package that will be passed before the end of the year, please act to prevent drastic cuts to Medicare payment in 2021 while also ensuring tax-free status for federal grants so that our physical therapy clinic can keep its doors open—to not only serve our patients but also to provide jobs in our town.
Please enact the following legislative fixes to support small businesses who are also healthcare providers:
- Prevent the drastic cuts to Medicare reimbursement that will go into effect on January 1, 2021 by enacting H.R.8702 or another equally effective policy. With a 9% cut to physical therapy reimbursement effective January 1, 2021, many community-based outpatient physical therapy clinics who are barely hanging on through the joint impact of the public health emergency and economic crisis will go out of business.
- Enact S.4117/H.R.7777 to allow for efficient forgiveness of PPP loans of $150,000 or less.
- Override the IRS guidance which stated provider relief fund grants are taxable so that these grants will be tax-free and more effective tools to reimburse providers for healthcare related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19.
- Allow physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to bill and be paid for care provided to Medicare beneficiaries via telehealth by enacting the language of H.R.8755.
- Allow tax-free forgiven PPP expenses to also be deductible business expenses—in line with the Congressional intent of the CARES Act.
Each of these policy changes will enable me to better serve my patients and keep my clinic open. On behalf of myself and PPS, will you please include these policies in legislation passed before the end of the year?
Consider me a resource. I look forward to speaking with you about this and other issues that are important to maintain access to quality care for my patients and which significantly impact the practices of myself and my colleagues who are private practice physical therapists.
Member, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
(Practice phone number)