If you are a physical therapy or occupational therapy assistant providing outpatient services, you need to know that a pay cut is in your future unless there is a change to existing legislation.
In Section 53107 of The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), CMS has directed that beginning 2020, there will be new modifiers required on all billing to designate if services are being rendered by an assistant or by a therapist. Then.... beginning in 2022, therapy services rendered by assistants will be reimbursed at a lower rate of 85 percent of the Medicare Fee Schedule. You can be sure that providers will be unable to absorb that reduction without passing that on to assistants through lower pay. There is still time, though, to make changes to the law.
What Can You Do?
Contact your representative. Use the links below to find out who your representative is and how to contact him/her and let your voice be heard.
Support those organizations that advocate for your profession. Consider joining your state APTA or AOTA to provide support for these advocacy groups.