Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th

It is now barely a week until the election! Verify with the local election board that you are registered to vote and make a plan for when you will cast your ballot. Your vote is a very powerful way to participate in policy-making.

 

Advocacy Opportunity 1:

Be sure to complete the ultimate act of civic engagement—voting for those who represent you and your interests. Please don’t miss the voting booth because you have a full day at the office or if you are in-transit to the PPS Annual Conference! PPS encourages those who will be traveling to the PPS Conference on Election Day to vote using an absentee ballot or in-person if early-voting is available in your state. Deadlines to apply for an absentee ballot vary by state, but can be due as early as 3 weeks prior to election. Visit your state election office websiteto apply for an absentee ballot before it’s too late!

 

Speaking Up on Behalf of Private Practice Physical Therapists

TAX POLICY

In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Actprovided for a permanent flat 21% tax rate for corporations. Under the law, qualified trades or businesses such as private practice physical therapists who pay their business taxes through their individual tax returns may be able to utilize a 20% tax deduction on qualified business income.

 

The Department of Treasury released a proposed rule that sought to add physical therapists to the list of Specified Service Trades or Businesses (SSTB), which would remove them from the general category of Qualified Trade or Business. If categorized as an SSTB, a physical therapist would NOT be eligible for the 20% Code Section 199A tax deduction UNLESS their income was below $157,500 as an individual or $315,000 if married filing jointly. Once the income passes these initial thresholds, the deduction phases out for those whose incomes are between $315,000 and $415,000 formarried taxpayers who file jointly, or between $157,500 and $207,500 for single taxpayers. Furthermore, no deduction would be available for those whose income exceeds $415,000 (if married filing jointly).

 

On October 1st, PPS commented on the proposed rule, arguing that physical therapists should be treated as general qualified trades or businesses and not be added to the SSTB definition. Should the final rule notmake the changes proposed by the Administration, a larger number of private practice section members would be able to utilize the 20% pass through tax deduction. Please consult your tax professional for advice, as this tax policyimpacts the current tax year (beginning January 1, 2018).

 

ANTI-KICKBACK STATUTE

PPS’ legislative priorities call for us to address and mitigate the negative effects associated with physician self-referral.In August, PPS filed formal comments in response to CMS’ RFI on physician self-referral. On October 26th, PPS filed formal comments with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General urging both limits to the use of beneficiary incentives as well as transparency if providers are offering incentives to retain or induce patients to choose a particular provider. In both comments, PSS urged the prompt removal of PT from the IOASE and requesting increased accountability and transparency for referrals made utilizing the IOASE.

 

Engage with Candidates for Elected Office

Election day is fast approaching, candidates are spending a lot of time in public meeting with voters. As a PPS Key Contact, you are well prepared to make this into a dialogue instead of a monologue. Keep engaging with your legislator as well as the candidate(s) running for the seat in Congress. With each engagement you enhance a candidate’s understanding of the unique value of physical therapy provided in a private practice setting.

 

All seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate seats will be contested this fall. Remember that whether or not you engage could impact the laws passed by those in Congress—in order to serve you and the needs of your patients they need to know and understand the legislative and advocacy priorities of the Section. The conversations your fellow PPS Key Contacts have been having with their Members of Congress have worked. This past month we added 4 new cosponsors to the CONNECT for Health Act(H.R.2556/S.1016)—Reps. Bruce Poliquin (ME-2), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), and Ann Kuster (NH-2). Additionally, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) signed onto the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act(H.R.1639/S.619) as a cosponsor.

 

Advocacy Opportunity 2:

See the July Legislative Update for templates, talking points, and scripts to use when engaging with candidates. Please take a photo of your meeting and tweet it as a thank you to the Member of Congress/candidate for the meeting, be sure to add #_________ so we can retweet it!

 

Thank you for your continued advocacy and engagement!

 

 

For one-pagers, talking points, and information on PPS’s legislative priorities and activities,

visit the Advocacy section at www.ppsapta.org

 
 

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